The effect of secondary crystallization on melting

Ziyu Chen, J. N. Hay*, M. J. Jenkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of isothermal crystallization temperature and time on the melting endotherms of poly (ethylene terephthalate), PET, has been measured using differential scanning calorimetry. Restricting the study to the primary stage of crystallization the melting endotherms were broad, frequently exhibiting multiple peaks. The temperature of the last trace of crystallinity increased linearly with crystallization temperature which could be interpolated to determine the equilibrium melting point of PET under equilibrium conditions. Heating beyond the primary stage of crystallization and into the secondary stage produced a narrowing of the melting endotherms with time with a loss of the low melting components and a progressive shift to higher temperatures. This was interpreted as an increase in thickness of the initial lamellae laid down in the primary stage by growth of the "fold surface" into adjacent amorphous material. By deriving the increase in lamellae stem length with time from the melting endotherms the growth was observed to be diffusion controlled, since it was dependent on the square root of time and a thermally activated process in that it increased with temperature following an Arrhenius dependence. The amorphous segments in the inter-lamellar regions were considered to have restricted mobility due to the presence of adjacent rigid crystalline regions and chain entanglements which were slow to diffuse from the growth front. An alternative suggestion which could also account for these observations was that growth was restricted by the diffusion of non-crystallizable low molecular weight impurities from the growth front.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2697-2703
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Lamellae stem distribution
  • Melting
  • Poly (ethylene terephthalate)
  • Primary and secondary crystallization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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