Melt-spun poly(tetrafluoroethylene) fibers
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The recent discovery of melt-processable poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) allows for common thermoplastic-polymer processing technologies to be applied to this unique polymer, which heretofore was considered to be highly intractable. In this paper, we report simple melt-spinning of monofilaments of a set of melt-processable (modified) PTFE grades with weight-average molar masses (Mw) ranging from 77 to 292 kg/mol. Fibers were spun at 380 °C at draw-down ratios of up to 2,750, yielding filaments of linear densities as low as 0.8 tex, corresponding to a diameter of ∼20 μm. The maximum Young’s modulus and tensile strength of as-spun fibers produced in this study were 91.7 cN/tex (1,972 MPa) and 12.0 cN/tex (258 MPa), respectively, accompanied by a strain to break of 24%.
KeywordsPTFE Draw Ratio Linear Density Extrusion Rate Molar Mass Distribution
Samples were provided by Dr. F. Kloos and Dr. G. Löhr (Dyneon, Germany). The authors are grateful for stimulating discussions with Prof. Dr. Ir. H.E.H. Meijer (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands), as well as for the experimental assistance of Messrs. Marco Sigrist and Raphael Heeb (ETH Zürich).
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