Effects of zone drawing on the structure of metallocene polyethylene

Authors

  • David M. Berns,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
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  • Elizabeth Oyebode,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
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  • Benita Dair,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
    Current affiliation:
    1. W. R. Grace, Cambridge, MA
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  • Peggy Cebe,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
    • Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
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  • Malcolm Capel

    Corresponding author
    1. Biology Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, 11973
    Current affiliation:
    1. Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL
    • Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
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Abstract

The influence of zone drawing on bulk properties and structure of metallocene polyethylene (m-PE) is reported. Two different m-PE materials were subjected to tensile stresses above the yield point by zone drawing in the temperature range from 50 to 100°C. Drawn materials were characterized by using small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS, WAXS), molecular retraction, and small-angle light scattering (SALS). Structural changes were studied as a function of drawing temperature, engineering stress, and draw ratio. WAXS showed strong crystalline orientation in drawn samples, and only the orthorhombic crystal modification was observed. SAXS showed lamellar orientation in drawn samples. At low drawing temperatures of 50 or 60°C, draw ratio increased as a step function of stress. There is a stress barrier, which must be exceeded before high-draw ratios can be achieved at these temperatures. At drawing temperatures of 70°C or above, the barrier stress is low enough that draw ratio increases nearly linearly as a function of stress. Below the stress barrier, spherulitic structure is observed by small-angle light scattering (SALS). Elongation occurs via deformation of the interspherulitic amorphous phase. Molecular retraction was low for these samples, indicating mostly plastic deformation of the amorphous material. Above the stress barrier, SALS showed that spherulites are destroyed. Elongation occurs via deformation of the intraspherulitic amorphous phase. Molecular retraction for these samples was high, indicating elastic deformation of the amorphous material. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 82: 3492–3504, 2001

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