Jian-min Feng, Ruiyan Zhang, Jingshen Wu
Aug 5, 2014
Colloid and Polymer Science
The high-density polyethylene (HDPE)/polyamide 6 (PA6) in situ microfibrillar composites (HAM-C) were fabricated by the “extrusion-hot stretch-quenching” technique, in which PA6 microfibrillar had diameters lying in the range 0.55 to 1.05 μm. Then the HAM-C and pure HDPE were processed by multi-melt multi-injection molding (MMMIM). The effect of PA6 in situ microfibrillar and secondary melt penetration on the crystalline morphologies and mechanical properties was investigated using a variety of characterization techniques including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), rheological experiments, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), synchrotron two-dimensional small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and tensile testing. It was found that PA6 microfibrillar not only acted as a heterogeneous nucleation agent, but also prolonged the relaxation time of HDPE matrix by suppressing the mobility of HDPE molecular chains. It was revealed, from observing the morphologies, that the presence of PA6 microfibrillar not only facilitated the formation of transcrystalline superstructures on its surface, but also induced much more oriented crystals nearby as a result of the amplified local shear field. Furthermore, SAXS results confirmed that the degree of orientation of the injection-molded HAM-C part (HAM-M) was largely enhanced. Finally, the tensile testing showed that the tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the HAM-M sample were enhanced by 38.8 and 54.6 %, respectively, when compared with pure HDPE parts. This work provides a promising way to tailor the crystalline structure of the injection-molded parts.