High-temperature hedritic crystallization of the β-modification of isotactic polypropylene

J. Varga, G. W. Ehrenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High-temperature crystallization of the β-modification of polypropylene (β-iPP), induced by an active β-nucleating agent, was studied by polarizing light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was established that, in the early stage of crystallization of β-iPP, hedrites were formed as precursors of the spherulitic crystallization. Hedrites seen flat-on are characteristic hexagonal formations (hexagonites) with low birefringence. The central core of hedrites had positive birefringence. Hedrites seen edge-on were rod-like formations with strong negative birefringence which would transform into a radially symmetric spherulitic form through sheaf-like and then oval (ovalite) arrangements. According to the SEM micrographs, hedrites are clusters of multilayer lamellar crystallites. On the surfaces of lamellae hexagonal etch pits appear referring to screw dislocations. They are responsible for branching and proliferation of lamellae. Hedrites may reach considerable sizes (several hundred micrometres) presumably due to a coordinated cooperative growth of lamellae. There is an unequivocal correlation between the character of birefringence and the morphological structure shown by SEM of hexagonites, rods, ovalites and spherulites. It was demonstrated that, at temperatures of isothermal crystallization higher than the critical T(βα) , mixed polymorphic structures of α- and β-modifications were formed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-519
Number of pages9
JournalColloid and Polymer Science
Volume275
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997

Keywords

  • Hedrite
  • Hexagonite
  • Ovalite
  • Polarizing light microscopy
  • Polypropylene
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Spherulite
  • β to α growth transition
  • β-nucleation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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