Nucleation, growth and morphology of poly(hydroxybutyrate) and its copolymers
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Measurements of the melting temperatures, growth rates and nucleation rates of meltcrystallized polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and two poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHB/HV) copolymers are reported for crystallization over a wide range of temperature. Examples are shown of the spherulitic morphologies obtained. From the variation in melting point with crystallization temperature values for the equilibrium melting points of PHB and PHB/HV are obtained. Growth and nucleation rate measurements are analysed using secondary nucleation theory to obtain approximations to surface energies within the crystals. PHB and PHB/7% HV are described well by secondary nucleation theory. PHB/23% HV exhibits more complex crystallization and melting behaviour, which suggests temperature-dependent exclusion of HV units from the crystals.
KeywordsPolymer Growth Rate Crystallization Melting Point Surface Energy
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