SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • degradation;
  • molecular weight distribution;
  • molar mass distribution;
  • polystyrene

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

We report for the first time evidence of flow-induced polymer degradation during inkjet printing for both poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and polystyrene (PS) in good solvent. This has significance for the deposition of functional and biological materials. Polymers having equation image either less than 100 kDa or greater than approximately 1 000 kDa show no evidence of molecular weight degradation. The lower boundary condition is a consequence of low Deborah Number De imposed by the printhead geometry and the upper boundary condition due to visco-elastic damping. For intermediate molecular weights the effect is greatest at high elongational strain rate and low solution concentration with higher polydispersity polymers being most sensitive to molecular weight degradation. For low polydispersity samples, PDi ≤ 1.3, chain breakage is essentially centro-symmetric induced either by turbulance or overstretching when the strain rate increases well beyond a critical value, that is the stretching rate is high enough to exceed the rate of relaxation. For higher polydispersity samples chain breakage is consistent with almost random scission along the chain, inferring that the forces required to break the chain are additionally transmitted either by valence bonds, i.e. network chains and junctions or discrete entanglements rather than solely by hydrodynamic interaction.