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Keywords:

  • polycaprolactone;
  • crystallinity;
  • dynamic mechanical analysis;
  • differential scanning calorimetry;
  • Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy

Abstract

The effect of the degree of crystallinity on the dynamic mechanical relaxation behaviour (flexural storage modulus and loss tangent) of polycaprolactone has been investigated. The degree of crystallinity was found to determine the temperature of the α-relaxation process and the relaxation strength of the β-relaxation. The increase in temperature of the α-process has been ascribed to constrainment of the amorphous regions of the sample by the crystallites. In accordance with the observed effect of the degree of crystallinity, the origin of the dynamic mechanical β-relaxation has been ascribed to the amorphous regions of the material. The intensity of the β-process has also been found to depend on the moisture content, becoming more prominent when moisture is present. In addition, moisture has been shown to penetrate the crystalline regions of the sample over a relatively short timescale, as shown by infrared spectroscopy. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry