Microstructure and origin of cross-tie fibrils in crazes
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Crazes were grown in thin films of polystyrene (PS) at various temperatures and the resulting craze fibril microstructures were examined using low-angle electron diffraction (LAED). A quasi-regular array of cross-tie fibrils pull the main fibrils away from the tensile axis by an angle ± β/2°. As a result, the LAED patterns from crazes grown at temperatures T<50°C exhibited split diffraction lobes centred about the equatorial axis of the LAED pattern. It was found that β decreased with increasing crazing temperature and that the split lobes could no longer be resolved at the highest temperatures. Diffuse meridional diffraction spots due to scattering from the quasi-regular array of cross-tie fibrils were seen in the LAED patterns from crazes grown at low temperatures. The spacing of the cross-tie fibrils, R, determined from these patterns, was found to increase with the crazing temperature. A new model of craze widening was proposed that accounts for the formation of cross-tie fibrils by allowing some of the entangled polymer strands which bridge two fibrils in the active zone to survive fibrillation. Cross-tie fibrils are created when several such strands pile up locally, and the craze/bulk interface bypasses the pile-up.
KeywordsPolymer Microstructure Thin Film Polystyrene Fibril
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