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Improving Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Through Self-nucleation

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Abstract

As-received poly(ethylene terephthalate) (asr-PET) may be reorganized by precipitation from trifluoroacetic acid upon gradual addition to a large excess of rapidly stirred acetone (p-PET). Unlike asr-PET, p-PET repeatedly crystallizes rapidly from the melt, and can be used in small quantities (a few %) as an effective self-nucleating agent to control and improve the bulk semi-crystalline morphology and properties of asr-PET. Nuc-PET film has significantly increased hardness and Young's modulus and is much less permeable to CO2, while its un-drawn fibers exhibit higher tenacities and moduli. Because nuc-PET contains no incompatible additives, it may be readily recycled.

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