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Thermomechanical processing environment and morphology development of a thermotropic polymer liquid crystal

Authors

  • Júlio C. Viana,

    Corresponding author
    1. IPC - Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal
    • IPC - Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal
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  • Ricardo Simões,

    1. IPC - Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal
    2. Laboratory of Advanced Polymers & Optimized Materials (LAPOM), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas 76203-5310
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  • João F. Mano,

    1. 3B's Research Group in Biomaterials, Biodegradable, Biomimetics, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal
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  • Maria. J. Oliveira,

    1. IPC - Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal
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  • Zlatan Z. Denchev,

    1. IPC - Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal
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  • Witold Brostow,

    1. Laboratory of Advanced Polymers & Optimized Materials (LAPOM), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas 76203-5310
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  • António M. Cunha

    1. IPC - Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal
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Abstract

We have studied a longitudinal polymer liquid crystal consisting of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and p-hydroxybenzoic acid, namely PET/0.6PHB, where 0.6 is the mole fraction of the second component. The material was injection molded with systematic variations of the melt and mold temperatures and injection flow rate using design of experiments based on a Taguchi orthogonal array. Thermomechanical environment defined by local melt temperatures and shear rates and stresses imposed during processing was estimated by computer simulations of the mold-filling phase. The morphology of the moldings was characterized by optical and scanning electronic microscopy, wide- and small-angle X-ray scattering, and differential scanning calorimetry. An analysis of variance approach identified the significant processing variables and their contributions to variations of morphological parameters. The processing environment affects strongly the melt viscosity, and there is a strong thermo-mechanical coupling. The result is a complex multilaminated and hierarchical microstructure, whose morphological features are very sensitive to the processing conditions. Relationships between local thermomechanical variables (rather than global ones) and the morphological parameters are established. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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