Crystallization of polymers under strain : from molecular properties to macroscopic models

Abstract : The crystallization of thermo-plastic polymers under strain is considered both theoretically and experimentally. The thermo-mechanical model presented here is performed in the framework of the so-called generalized standard materials. In our model we couple in a very natural way the kinetics of crystallization with the mechanical history experienced by the polymer. The viscoelastic properties of the polymer are described using molecular theories. Therefore, in this model of strain-induced crystallization, the kinetics of crystallization is explicitly linked to the polymer chain conformation. Our model is intended to be valid for both for shearing and elongation, or any other complex strain field. Two different viscoelastic molecular models are considered here, corresponding to Maxwell and Pom-Pom constitutive equations. The model is implemented in a dedicated finite element code and the case of injection molding is considered.To validate our strain-induced crystallization model, which explicitly takes into account the molecular conformation, experiments investigating the material behavior at the molecular scale are required. Several measurement techniques can be used to achieve this task, including infrared spectroscopy, optical polarimetry, X-ray scattering or diffraction, etc. In this paper, the wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) is used to investigate the crystalline texture of the polymer. We consider here the case of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) subjected to a biaxial elongation above its T-g. The strain field is determined using a home-developed image correlation technique that allows us to infer all the strain components at each point of the specimen, even in the case of a non-homogeneous strain field. To minimize the effect of quiescent crystallization, specimens are quickly heated with infrared and the temperature was regulated during the test. At the end of the deformation process, the specimens were quenched to room temperature. Their microstructure was later investigated using the WAXD technique. In order to undertake local and accurate WAXD measurements Synchrotron radiation facilities are used.
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Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Elsevier, 2003, 192 (28 30), pp.3245-3265. 〈10.1016/S0045-7825(03)00349-9〉
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Arnaud Poitou, Amine Ammar, Yann Marco, L. Chevalier, Mohend Chaouche. Crystallization of polymers under strain : from molecular properties to macroscopic models. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Elsevier, 2003, 192 (28 30), pp.3245-3265. 〈10.1016/S0045-7825(03)00349-9〉. 〈hal-01006710〉

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