Structure and Properties Evolution of UV Crosslinked Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Fiber During Processing

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Polymer Science and Engineering


With the development of heat and creep-resistant UHMWPE fiber via UV crosslinking, its structure-properties evolution during processing needs attention. The structures of UHMWPE fiber in different forms, the pre-oriented yarn (POY), the full stretch yarn (FDY) and UV crosslinked FDY (UVFDY), obtained from our pilot line were systematically studied with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and solid-state 13C NMR. Additionally, the heat and creep resistance of UVFDY were evaluated by the temperature at break (Tb), glass transition temperature (Tg), time at break (tb) for a given aging temperature, and creep elongation (Lc). The results demonstrated that UVFDY possessed high gel content (89.0%), high crystallinity (84.2%), and high orientation (91.7%). These characteristics caused UVFDY not only with excellent mechanical properties but also process extraordinary heat and creep resistance, especially for its much higher Tb (220 °C), Tg (−75.7 °C) and tb (20 h) while lower Lc (7.8%), comparing with FDY (Tb = 158 °C, Tg = −86.8 °C, tb = 1.3 h and Lc = 38.2%). This work provides insights into the structure-properties relationship of UVFDY, which will aid in the development of UV crosslinked UHMWPE fiber with better heat and creep resistance.

Publication Title

Journal of Polymer Science

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