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Flow-induced Crystallization of PB-1: Characterizing the Onset of Shish-kebab Formation

Research and development

Authors:

  • Baert Jimmy
    Department of Chemical Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuvenle, Leuven, Belgium
  • Langouche Florentin
    Neder Over Heembeekimage, Solvay Central Laboratory, Brussels, Belgium
  • Van Puyvelde Peter
    Department of Chemical Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuvenle, Leuven, Belgium

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Abstract:

In this work, it is shown that optical techniques, more specifically birefringence and transmitted intensity measurements, provide an excellent tool to characterize the transition to highly anisotropic structures in polymer crystallization for shear rates close to industrial processing conditions. This is illustrated for the flow-induced crystallization of isotactic poly-1-butene (PB-1). A characteristic upturn in the flow birefringence and a sharp increase in crystallization kinetics both indicate the onset of the formation of shish-kebab structures with an increased level of molecular orientation. Moreover, the results indicate that this transition is strongly molecular weight (Mw ) dependent.

Tags: birefringence, transmitted intensity, flow-induced crystallization, shish kebab.

Published in issue no 6 (71) / 2008, pages 73–76.

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