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  • Author or Editor: J. Hopewell x
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Abstract  

Different grades of linear low density polyethylenes (LLDPEs) have been quenched cooled step-wise and crystallised isothermally at (a series of increasing) temperatures in a DSC (thermal fractionated samples). These samples have been investigated by temperature modulated DSC (MDSC). The heat flow curves of the thermal fractionated materials were compared with those obtained from samples crystallised at a relatively slow cooling rate of 2 K min-1(standard samples). The melting enthalpy obtained from the total heat flow of the thermal fractionated samples was 0-10 J g-1higher than those of standard samples. The melting enthalpy obtained from the reversing heat flows was 13-31 J g-1lower in the thermal fractionated samples than in the standard samples. The ratio of the reversing melting enthalpy to the total melting enthalpy increased with decreasing density of the PE. The melting temperature of the endotherms formed by the step-wise cooling was 9 K higher than the crystallisation temperature.

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Abstract  

Annealing experiments have been carried out at a few degrees below the melting point of different polyethylenes (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE), of polypropylene (PP) and of Nylon-6. The heat capacities decrease during the annealing, within a 2-4 min time scale, to a lower value which corresponds to the extrapolated heat capacity values obtained for the cooling cycle when the polymer is cooled from the melt. Heat capacities in the heating cycle following the cooling cycle of PP, Nylon-6 and HDPE have the same value as during the cooling section. This is not the case for LDPE and LLDPE. Exothermic total heat flow in the cooling section following the annealing indicates that the crystallisation takes place during the cooling rather than during the annealing period. The total melting enthalpy measured before and after the annealing cycle is the same. The reversing heat flow shows an excellent fit to the change of the crystallinity measured by small angle scattering of synchrotron radiation during a heating cycle at temperatures below the melting peak. A coupled thermodynamic interaction of the crystalline and the amorphous phases is concluded from this study. This kind of interaction is possible at the lateral end of polymeric chains incorporated into the crystalline phase. This is an indication of the portion of tie molecules in the system, i.e. the portion of fringed micelle type of crystalline morphology with respect to that of folded chain lamellae.

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Abstract  

Polyethylene samples prepared by thermal fractionation (TF) were annealed in several consecutive cycles in a temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC) at a temperatures one C below the peak temperatures, increased from cycle to cycle relative to these peaks. The transition enthalpy of each cooling cycle was greater or equal to that of the preceding heating cycle. The total heat-flows of each heating cycle corresponded to those of the samples in the reference state up until the vicinity of the annealing temperature. During the annealing, the heat capacities decreased to a lower value over a one minute period. The thermal memory effect caused by the thermal fractionation was eliminated by a small overheating of the material for a short time. The fast disappearance of the thermal memory by a relatively very small degree of heating above their melting temperature denies a long range physical separation of macromolecules by TF.

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