Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The drawing of semicrystalline (33 and 50%) poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) films has been studied by solid-state coextrusion. Because of its brittleness and opacity, isotropic and semicrystalline PET film is of little practical use. Early attempts to cold-draw crystalline films led to fracture in contrast to deformation of amorphous PET. However, we have succeeded in systematically preparing films with extrusion draw ratios ≤4.4 from semicrystalline PET. In many cases, the properties of the drawn extrudates, as a function of extrusion temperature Text and extrusion draw ratio EDR, were similar to those prepared from amorphous PET. However, some remarkable differences have also been found. In the case of coextrudates prepared from isotropic 50% crystalline PET, we found that the larger the deformation, the lower the apparent resulting crystallinity. In the extreme, a 34% reduction in crystallinity after deformation was observed. For the coextrudates drawn from initially 33% crystalline PET, slightly different behavior occurred. For Text ≤ 90°C, all extrudates showed crystallinities lower than the original isotropic film, with a minimum at EDR = 3; for Text ≥ 110°C, crystallinities were slightly greater than in the original film and increased with EDR. Qualitative measurements of heats of fusion were in agreement with density gradient results for PET crystallinity. In contrast is our previous finding that extrudates from initially amorphous PET always increase in crystallinity with EDR, because of stress-induced crystallization. The results now suggest that in the Text range investigated, the initial spherulitic structure is at least in part destroyed on drawing. In addition, the percent crystallinity is revealed to be dependent on Text, with lower values at lower temperatures. Mechanical tests show that the extrudates are similar or sometimes higher in tensile modulus when compared to amorphous PET drawn under the same conditions.
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