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Wide‐angle X‐ray scattering study of the lamellar/fibrillar transition for a semi‐crystalline polymer deformed in tension in relation with the evolution of volume strain

Farge, Laurent, Boisse, Julien, Dillet, Jérôme, André, Stéphane, Albouy, Pierre‐Antoine, Meneau, Florian
Journal of polymer science 2015 v.53 no.20 pp. 1470-1480
X-radiation, crystals, deformation, polyethylene
This work is devoted to the study of the deformation mechanisms of a high‐density polyethylene deformed in tension. Specific treatments were applied to synchrotron wide‐angle X‐ray scattering patterns obtained in situ with the aim of quantifying: (i) the evolution of the apparent crystal sizes during the deformation process, (ii) the reorientation dynamics of the fragmented crystals while aligning their chains along the drawing axis during the establishment of the fibrillar morphology, and (iii) the reorientation dynamics of the amorphous chains. In addition, the volume strain evolution was measured using 3D digital image correlation. The cavitation phenomenon was found to mainly occur during the lamellae fragmentation phase. At the end of the deformation process, when the lamellar structure is destroyed, the fragmented crystals have new degrees of freedom and become free to rotate to align their chains along the drawing axis. Crystal fragmentation is then no longer needed to allow material deformation, and there is no further volume strain increase. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2015, 53, 1470–1480