2020, 38(4): 311-322
Poly(butylene 2,6-naphthalate) (PBN) is a crystallizable linear polyester containing a rigid naphthalene unit and flexible methylene spacer in the chemical repeat unit. Polymeric materials made of PBN exhibit excellent anti-abrasion and low friction properties, superior chemical resistance, and outstanding gas barrier characteristics. Many of the properties rely on the presence of crystals and the formation of a semicrystalline morphology. To develop specific crystal structures and morphologies during cooling the melt, precise information about the melt-crystallization process is required. This review article summarizes the current knowledge about the temperature-controlled crystal polymorphism of PBN. At rather low supercooling of the melt, with decreasing crystallization temperature,
α-crystals grow directly from the melt and organize in largely different spherulitic superstructures. Formation of
α-crystals at high supercooling may also proceed
intermediate formation of a transient monotropic liquid crystalline structure, then yielding a non-spherulitic semicrystalline morphology. Crystallization of PBN is rather fast since its suppression requires cooling the melt at a rate higher than 6000 K·s−1. For this reason, investigation of the two-step crystallization process at low temperatures requires application of sophisticated experimental tools. These include temperature-resolved X-ray scattering techniques using fast detectors and synchrotron-based X-rays and fast scanning chip calorimetry. Fast scanning chip calorimetry allows freezing the transient liquid-crystalline structure before its conversion into
α-crystals, by fast cooling to below its glass transition temperature. Subsequent analysis using polarized-light optical microscopy reveals its texture and X-ray scattering confirms the smectic arrangement of the mesogens. The combination of a large variety of experimental techniques allows obtaining a complete picture about crystallization of PBN in the entire range of melt-supercoolings down to the glass transition, including quantitative data about the crystallization kinetics, semicrystalline morphologies at the micrometer length scale, as well as nanoscale X-ray structure information.
Qian Ding,Michelina Soccio,Nadia Lotti,Dario Cavallo,René Androsch. Melt Crystallization of Poly(butylene 2,6-naphthalate). Chinese Journal of Polymer Science, 2020, 38(4): 311-322. doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2354-5.