Relationship among Molecular Structure, Supermolecular Structure and Micromechanical Properties of Semicrystalline Polymers
Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, v.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague
Keywords: semicrystalline polymers, microhardness, microindentation hardness testing
This review article deals with micromechanical properties of the semicrystalline polymers. The micromechanical properties, i.e., the mechanical properties measured in microscopic scale, can be assessed by microindentation hardness testing. Although the microindentation of polymer materials is not a widely used method, we show that it yields very reliable and reproducible results on condition that the samples are carefully prepared by microtomy. The microindentation is especially useful in two cases: (i) the characterization of small specimens, for which it is impossible to prepare standard specimens and (ii) the characterization of local properties in specific locations of the sample. We list the types of indentation measurements and the properties we can get from them, such as indentation hardness, modulus, and creep. The attention is focused on semicrystalline polymers; the close relationship between their molecular structure, supermolecular structure and micromechanical properties is described and illustrated by numerous examples and/or references coming from our own research projects.
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