What is the flow activation volume of entangled polymer melts?


We evaluate the flow activation volume in polymer melts of isotactic polypropylene and atactic polystyrene with step-shear experiments at different melt temperatures. The melt is initially sheared with constant shear rate until the attainment of a melt state with nearly constant viscosity. Perturbations to this experiment, involving shear steps in short-time intervals with decreasing rates, are induced next. Measurements of the shear stress value at each shear rate step allow the evaluation of an experimental (apparent) flow activation volume. The true flow activation volume is evaluated by extrapolating the experimental data to infinite shear stress values. The value obtained is larger than the physical volume of the chain and agrees with the volume of a tube confining chains with a molecular weight between M (n) and M (w). Besides supporting the validity of tube model, experiments based on this protocol may be used on model polymer samples, in composites with nanoparticles and in polymer blends to access the validity of mechanisms considered by flow models.




Chemistry; Polymer Science


Martins, JA; Cruz, VS; Krakowiak, J; Zhang, WD

nossos autores



We thank Andrzej Galeski for pointing us ref. [10]. We acknowledge the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology for funding the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-007151 (PTDC/CTM/68614/2006). This work was supported by the European Community fund FEDER and project 3599/PPCDT.

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