Investigation of the band texture occurring in acetoxypropylcellulose thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer using rheo-optical, rheological and light scattering techniques
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The optical evolution of the band texture occurring in acetoxypropylcellulose thermotropic polymer has been investigated as a function of temperature and primary shear rate. Two distinct kinds of band texture were observed which are referred to here as the `fast' and `slow' band textures with regard to their rate of evolution. The fast band texture appears very quickly following the cessation of shear and then disappears. The slow band texture is much finer than the fast band texture and appears to exist both during and after the appearance of the fast band texture. The evolution behaviour of the fast band texture is interpreted in terms of the shifting of a three-region evolution curve. Particular attention has been paid to investigating the influence of temperature on the formation of the fast band texture. Rheo-optical experiments show that the minimum shear rate required to form the fast band texture increases as a power-law function of the temperature. By subsequently performing steady flow measurements over a range of temperatures, the minimum shear stress required to form the fast band texture has been found to be independent of temperature and to increase linearly with the molecular weight of the sample. Results obtained from dynamic tests are compared with similar tests conducted previously on a lyotropic hydroxypropylcellulose water solution (Harrison and Navard 1999). The results of the comparison provide evidence in support of a connection between the behaviour of the dynamic functions and the optical evolution of the slow band texture. These results suggest that nematic and cholesteric fluids can relax through several different possible mechanisms, each of which results in a periodic band texture following the cessation of shear.
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