TRUE MECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR AND THE ASSOCIATED STRUCTURE MORPHOLOGY OF POLY(LACTID ACID) POLYMER IN STRAIN INDUCED CRYSTALLISATION BY IN-SITU TIME RESOLVED X-RAY DIFFRACTION AND SCATTERING TECHNIQUE
Changes in molecular structure configuration during strain induced crystallisation of an amorphous Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA 4032D) polymer was monitored in-situ by simultaneously recording the wide angle x-ray scattering (WAXS) and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) patterns together with polymer deformation images and force data. The amorphous chain orientation from the beginning of deformation until the onset of crystallisation was studied from the WAXS patterns. The true mechanical behaviour described by the true stress-true strain curve related to an amorphous chain orientation exhibited a linear behaviour. Approaching critical amorphous orientation, the true stress-true strain curve deviated from linear into non-linear behaviour. After the onset of crystallization, when the deformed polymer became a semicrystalline state, the true mechanical behaviour exhibited true strain hardening which greatly affected by the formation of the morphology. The gradual true strain hardening was associated with the formation of micro-fibrillar structure containing thin crystallite morphology whilst sharp increased in true strain hardening was associated with the formation of stacked lamellar morphology in the form of macro-lattice structure. The study was accomplished by the application of high brilliance synchrotron radiation at beamline ID2 of ESRF, Grenoble in France and the usage of the high contrast resolution of WAXS and SAXS charge-couple device (CCD) camera as well as 40 milliseconds temporal resolution of data acquisition system.