The mechanical properties and structure of poly(m-methylene terephthalate) fibers



A study has been carried out of the differences in mechanical properties of oriented fibers of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (2GT), poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (3GT), and poly(tetramethylene terephthalate) (4GT). The properties studied include the tensile stress–strain behavior, the recovery from strain, shrinkage at 100°C and the glass-transition temperatures. The stress–strain curves of the three materials differ markedly. 2GT shows a monotonic increase in stress with increasing strain up to failure, which occurs at ∼20% strain, and the oriented fibers possess a comparatively high initial modulus. 3GT shows a much lower initial modulus and there is an inflection in the stress–strain curve at about 5% strain. The stress–strain curve of 4GT shows a number of distinct features. Although the initial modulus of 4GT is similar to that of 3GT, the stress–strain curve shows a pronounced plateau in the region between 4% and 12% strain. At higher strains the stresses rise rapidly before failure. These features of the stress–strain curves in the three polymers can be related to previous studies where the x-ray diffraction spectrum and the Raman spectrum have been examined for fibers under stress. The ranking of both the recovery and shrinkage behavior of these materials is in the order 3GT > 4GT > 2GT. These results can also be understood in terms of the results of the previous structural studies, and it is concluded that the molecular conformations in both the crystalline and noncrystalline regions play a key role in determining the mechanical behavior.