Volumetric thermal analysis of semicrystalline poly(ethylene terephthalate), PET, with different content of crystalline phase was carried out using mercury-in-glass dilatometry. The effect of crystals on the thermal properties of amorphous phase (glass transition temperature, Tg, thermal expansion coefficients, α) were determined. At cold-crystallization (106°C, up to 4 h), crystalline content of 2.4–25.3 vol.% was achieved. Increasing content of crystalline phase broadens the glass transition region and increases Tg. The change of thermal expansion coefficient during glass transition is lower than that predicted by the two-phase model, which indicates the presence of a third fraction — rigid amorphous fraction (RAF), whose content steadily increases during crystallization. However, its relative portion (specific RAF) is significantly reduced. Further significant decrease in specific RAF appears after annealing at a higher temperature.
cold-crystallization dilatometry glass transition temperature poly(ethylene terephthalate) rigid amorphous fraction
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