Self-Regulation in Flow-Induced Structure Formation of Polypropylene

Peter C. Roozemond, Martin van Drongelen, Zhe Ma, Anne B. Spoelstra, Daniel Hermida-Merino, Gerrit W.M. Peters

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Flow-induced structure formation is investigated with in situ wide-angle X-ray diffraction with high acquisition rate (30 Hz) using isotactic polypropylene in a piston-driven slit flow with high wall shear rates (up to ≈900 s−1). We focus on crystallization within the shear layers that form in the high shear rate regions near the walls. Remarkably, the kinetics of the crystallization process show no dependence on either flow rate or flow time; the crystallization progresses identically regardless. Stronger or longer flows only increase the thickness of the layers. A conceptual model is proposed to explain the phenomenon. Above a certain threshold, the number of shish-kebabs formed affects the rheology such that further structure formation is halted. The critical amount is reached already within 0.1 s under the current flow conditions. The change in rheology is hypothesized to be a consequence of the “hairy” nature of shish. Our results have large implications for process modelling, since they suggest that for injection molding type flows, crystallization kinetics can be considered independent of deformation history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-390
JournalMacromolecular rapid communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • IR-104134

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