The plastic deformation of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene

P. F. van Hutten*, C. E. Koning, A. J. Pennings

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Gel-spun filaments of different initial morphologies have been subjected to controlled drawing at elevated temperatures. The drawn samples have been examined by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy. The deformation mechanism at temperatures up to 120° C is very similar to crazing, especially in the case of unoriented gel-spun filaments. Filaments exhibiting a shish-kebab morphology offer the opportunity of examining the deformation of elementary fibrils in a quantitative way. The transformation of individual lamellae into fibrils is the initial deformation mode, which is followed by slip of fibrils at a later stage. This is concluded from a comparison of experimental data and model calculations of the maximum draw ratio. Drawing at 144° C results in the formation of globular aggregates of lamellae, with a characteristic long period of 40 nm. This long period persists until all the globules have been converted, by micronecking, into aggregate fibrils of extended-chain character. On a molecular scale, the various processes can be described as the temperature-dependent flow behaviour of an entanglement network.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1556-1570
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Materials Science
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1985

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