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Abstract

Dimensions of conical dies were found to have a significant influence on thermal, morphological, orientation, ultradrawing, and dynamic mechanical properties of the as-prepared and/or drawn ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber specimens prepared in this study. Many demarcated “micro-fibrils” were found paralleling to fiber direction of the as-prepared UHMWPE fiber specimens. The percentage crystallinity, melting temperatures, orientation factor (fo) and achievable draw ratio (Dra) values of each as-prepared UHMWPE fiber specimen prepared at a fixed length of outlet land reach a maximum value, as the entry angles of the conical die approach the optimum value at 75°. The maximum fo and Dra values obtained for each F2075-y as-prepared fiber series specimens prepared using the optimum entry angle reach another maximum value as their length of outlet land approach the optimum value of 6.5 mm. The ultimate tensile strengths and moduli of the drawn UHMWPE fibers prepared at the optimum entry angle and length of outlet land are significantly higher than those of fibers prepared at other conditions but stretched to the same draw ratio. Possible reasons accounting for the above interesting properties were discussed in this study. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers