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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2016, Article ID 5450708, 11 pages
Research Article

Crystallization and Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene under Processing-Relevant Cooling Conditions with respect to Isothermal Holding Time

Institute of Polymer Technology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany

Received 1 June 2016; Revised 26 July 2016; Accepted 17 August 2016

Academic Editor: Maria Laura Di Lorenzo

Copyright © 2016 Christopher Fischer and Dietmar Drummer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For semicrystalline thermoplastics, aside from pressure and shear, the temperature-time behavior while cooling the melt significantly affects the geometry and degree of ordered structures (e.g., spherulite size, degree of crystallization, and crystal modification) and, as a consequence, the resulting global component properties. Previous research has shown that a higher isothermal holding temperature (e.g., mold temperature and chill-roll temperature) leads to the formation of more distinct ordered structures and, therefore, can lead to greater stiffness and strength. Nevertheless, isothermal holding time during manufacturing is typically not taken into account. In this paper, fast scanning calorimetry (FSC) measurements were taken using polypropylene to analyze the crystallization during idealized temperature-time profiles based on the dynamic temperature process and to investigate the crystallization behavior at different temperatures and isothermal holding times analytically. Furthermore, iPP foils were extruded and tested mechanically to investigate the knowledge gained experimentally. Analytical and mechanical results show that foils produced at the same isothermal holding temperature can obtain significantly different ordered structures and mechanical properties depending primarily on the isothermal holding time.