Shear-Induced Isotropic-Nematic Transition in Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) Melts

In a previous work on a poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) melt, above its nominal melting temperature (Tm ≅ 335 °C), a severe Cox-Merz rule failure was observed. The abrupt decrease of the apparent shear viscosity was ascribed to the formation of Flow-Induced Crystallization (FIC) precursors. Here, shear rheology and reflection polariscope experiments are utilized to unravel the structural changes occurring under shear on a similar PEEK melt above Tm. Three regions of the flow curve were identified from low (0.01 s-1) to high shear rates (1000 s-1): I) isotropic structure with weak birefringence due to polymer chain orientation and mild shear thinning below1 s-1, II) isotropic-nematic transition accompanied by strong birefringence, two steady-state viscosities and large nematic polydomain director fluctuations and III) shear thinning behavior with viscosity scaling as the reciprocal square root of shear rate above 20 s-1, typically found in nematic fluids. The findings reported in this experimental work suggest that the nematic phase may represent the early stage for the formation of shear-induced crystallization precursors.



Work Title Shear-Induced Isotropic-Nematic Transition in Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) Melts
Open Access
  1. Ralph Colby
License Public Domain Mark 1.0
Work Type Article
Publication Date 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00404
Deposited February 25, 2021




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