Rheologica Acta

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 913–919

A tool for rapid quenching of elongated polymer melts

Original Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00397-007-0174-y

Cite this article as:
Handge, U.A. & Schmidheiny, W. Rheol Acta (2007) 46: 913. doi:10.1007/s00397-007-0174-y


In this article, we present a device for rapid quenching of elongated polymer melts. The tool is an accessory to the uniaxial elongational rheometer RME of Meissner and Hostettler. It is intended to be used for microscopic and other investigations of stretched polymers. The device allows us to solidify a polymer melt by pouring liquid nitrogen on it and to cut it at the nearly same instant of time. Then the sample can be easily removed from the stretching apparatus. Solving the heat diffusion equation for a polymer melt, which is cooled by liquid nitrogen, we theoretically estimate the quenching time of this method. To demonstrate that this quenching procedure indeed rapidly cools a polymer melt, the stress birefringence of elongated and subsequently quenched polystyrene melts is measured and the stress-optical coefficient C is determined. The experimental value of the stress-optical coefficient is |C|= 4.65×10−9 Pa−1, which agrees well with the data in literature. Using this tool for elongation experiments with the RME, polymer melts can be solidified in between approximately 0.2 and 2.0 s, depending on the thickness of the sample.


Extensional rheology Rapid quenching Polystyrene Flow birefringence 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MaterialsInstitute of PolymersZurichSwitzerland

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