Original Contribution

Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 291, Issue 4, pp 773-787

First online:

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Cavitation during tensile deformation of isothermally crystallized polypropylene and high-density polyethylene

  • Andrzej PawlakAffiliated withCentre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences Email author 


The cavitation phenomenon was studied in isothermally and non-isothermally crystallized polypropylene and high-density polyethylene. It was found that nano-voids were not present in the crystallized samples, but were formed during their tensile deformation. The process of cavitation was initiated before reaching the yield point. The ellipsoidal voids were initially elongated perpendicularly to the deformation direction, but if the polymer (i.e., high-density polyethylene) was able to deform beyond the yield, then the reorientation of voids into the deformation direction was observed at local strains of 100–200 %. This behavior was similar to that observed previously in the samples crystallized without an exact control of solidification conditions. The calculations of Guinier’s radius showed that voids in deformed polypropylene samples were characterized by the gyration radii of 28–50 nm. Smaller voids were observed in polyethylene. The scale of cavitation during deformation, studied on the example of polyethylene, depended on the preceding crystallization process and was most intensive for the specimens crystallized at the highest temperature of 125 °C.


Polypropylene Polyethylene Cavitation Tensile properties Plastic deformation Isothermal crystallization