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RESEARCH PAPERS: Special Issue on Time-Dependent Behaviors of Polymer Matrix Composites and Polymers

A Thermodynamic Framework for Describing Solidification of Polymer Melts

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Kannan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843krajagopal@mengr.tamu.edu

I. J. Rao

Department of Mechanical Engineering, NJIT, Newark, NJ 07102raoi@adm.njit.edu

K. R. Rajagopal1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843krajagopal@mengr.tamu.edu

1

Fellow, ASME

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 128(1), 55-63 (May 04, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2128426 History: Received September 16, 2004; Revised May 04, 2005

A thermodynamic framework is presented that can be used to describe the solidification of polymer melts, both the solidification of atactic polymers into an amorphous elastic solid and the crystallization of other types of polymer melts to semi-crystalline elastic solids. This framework fits into a general structure that has been developed to describe the response of a large class of dissipative bodies. The framework takes into account the fact that the natural configuration of the viscoelastic melt and the solid evolve during the process and that the symmetries of these natural configurations also evolve. Different choices are made as to how the material stores energy, produces entropy, and for its latent heat, latent energy, etc., that lead to models for different classes of materials. The evolution of the natural configuration is dictated by the manner in which entropy is produced, how the energy is stored etc., and it is assumed that the constitutive choices are such that the rate entropy production is maximized, from an allowable class of constitutive models. Such an assumption also determines the crystallization kinetics, i.e., provides equations such as the Avrami equation. Using the framework, a model is developed within which the problem of fiber spinning is studied and we find that the model is able to predict observed experimental results quite well.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Configurations associated with a polymer in the transitional regime

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Figure 2

Configurations associated with the crystallizing polymer

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Figure 3

Schematic of fiber spinning

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Figure 4

Velocity plots associated with PET being solidified into a glassy state during the fiber-spinning process

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Figure 5

Temperature plots associated with Fig. 4

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Figure 6

Velocity plots associated with the crystallizing polymer (nylon-6) during the fiber-spinning process

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Figure 7

Temperature plots associated with Fig. 6

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Figure 8

The difference in refractive indices along the fiber and perpendicular to it (birefringence) in the fiber spinning of nylon-6

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