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In-situ uniaxial drawing of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA): Following the crystalline morphology development using time-resolved SAXS/WAXS

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2020.122353 DOI Help

Authors: Ellen L. Heeley (Open University) , Kharmen Billimoria (University of Warwick) , Nathan Parsons (University of Warwick) , Lukasz Figiel (University of Warwick) , Elspeth M. Keating (University of Warwick) , Conor T. Cafolla (University of Warwick) , Eleanor M. Crabb (Open University) , Darren J. Hughes (University of Warwick)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Polymer , VOL 193

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 16500

Abstract: Simultaneous synchrotron small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) was used to follow the crystalline morphology evolution of poly-L- lactic acid (PLLA) during uniaxial deformation at various draw temperatures (Td). The mechanical behaviour of PLLA, was found to be strongly dependent on Td. 2D SAXS/WAXS data taken during the draw showed that at low Tds cavitation and voiding occurred and the initial crystallites underwent ‘overdrawing’ where they slip and are partially destroyed. SEM confirmed that surface voiding and cavitation had occurred at Td = 60 and 65 °C but was absent at higher Tds. During the draw, no long-range macromolecular lamellar structure was seen in the SAXS, but small crystallites of the disordered α′ crystal form of PLLA were observed in the WAXS at all Tds. The PLLA samples were then step annealed in a second processing stage (post-draw) to develop the oriented crystalline lamellar structure and increase the amount of the stable α crystalline form. SAXS/WAXS data showed that a highly oriented lamellar stack macrostructure developed on annealing, with increased crystallite size and crystallinity at all Tds. Furthermore, step annealing drove the crystalline transition in all samples from the disordered α′ crystal form to the stable α crystal form. Therefore, varying pre- and post-processing parameters can significantly influence the mechanical properties, orientation, crystalline morphology and crystal phase transition of the final PLLA material.

Journal Keywords: Poly-L-lactic acidUniaxial deformationSAXS/WAXSCrystalline morphologyOrientation

Subject Areas: Materials, Engineering, Chemistry


Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction

Other Facilities: No