Altering the Hierarchical Morphology Distribution of Injection Molded Polyethylene by the Introduction of Crosslink Network and Periodical Shear
High density polyethylene (HDPE) with moderate content of crosslink network (CPE) was successfully prepared through chemical method. Specimens for structural characterization have been molded by conventional injection molding (CIM) and pressure vibration injection molding (PVIM). Influence of crosslink network on hierarchical morphology distribution and mechanical properties was systematically studied. Polarized light microscopy (PLM) revealed that both CIM and PVIM PE samples have a typical "skin-core" structure and the thickness of shear layer of CIM PE and PVIM CPE samples obviously increase. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that shish-kebab structures are clearly observed in shear layer of CIM CPE sample, indicating that the crosslink network can surely improve the formation of shish-kebab structures. Moreover, we suppose that shish-kebab structures emerged in shear and core layer of PVIM CPE sample. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) confirmed that more orientation and shish-kebab structures form even in core layer of PVIM CPE sample, which demonstrated that the hierarchical morphology was apparently altered by periodical shear and crosslink network. Finally, the mechanical properties revealed that this oriented structure increase the tensile strength from 31 MPa of CIM PE sample to 46 MPa of PVIM CPE sample. However, the tensile behavior tended to change from ductile fracture to brittle fracture.
In the current work, a custom-made vibration injection molding device that can provide oscillatory pressure was utilized to create an injection-molded hierarchical structure. Growth competition among α, β, and γ phases in the injection-molded structure can be studied because of the presence of this hierarchical structure, wherein shish-kebab and spherulite layers were arranged alternately along the thickness direction. The γ crystals only existed in layers subjected to high pressure and shear stress, whereas β crystals formed between the shear layers. The change in trend of the γ fraction was similar to that of parent-to-daughter ratio. In addition, this hierarchical and alternating crystal structure can sharply increase the mechanical properties.
Simultaneously Improving the Tensile and Impact Properties of Isotactic Polypropylene with the Cooperation of co-PP and β-nucleating Agent through Pressure Vibration Injection Molding
In this article, crystalline morphology and molecular orientation of isotactic polypropylene (iPP), random copolymerized polypropylene (co-PP) and β-nucleating agent (β-NA) composites prepared by pressure vibration injection molding (PVIM) have been investigated via polarized light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, wide-angle X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry. Results demonstrated that the interaction between co-PP and iPP molecular chains was beneficial for the mechanical improvement and the introduction of β-NA further improved the toughness of iPP. In addition, after applying the pressure vibration injection molding (PVIM) technology, the shear layer thickness increased remarkably and the tensile strength improved consequently. Thus, the strength and toughness of iPP/co-PP/β-NA composites prepared by PVIM were simultaneously improved compared to those of the pure iPP prepared by conventional injection molding (CIM): the impact toughness was increased by five times and tensile strength was increased by 9 MPa. This work provided a new method to further enhance the properties of iPP/co-PP composites through dynamic processing strategy.