Properties of a mechanically processed polymeric material



A semicrystalline polymer, polyamide, was processed using a new technique. The technique is that of mechanically grinding the material using large inputs of energy at temperatures below the glass-transition temperature and then later reconstituting the material by applying pressure and holding at a temperature below its melting point for a period of time. This technique is normally known as mechanical alloying and only very recently has been applied to polymeric materials. The mechanical properties of strength, ductility, toughness, and hardness of polyamide material processed by this technique are investigated and compared with those of polyamide material processed by other techniques. The results indicate that altered mechanical properties occur with specific enhancements. This means that useful structural components can be made from polymers using this processing technique. The analysis of x-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonace, scanning electron and optical microscopy suggests that this process has resulted in considerable alteration of both crystal structure and microstructure of this polymeric material. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.