Recent developments in thermal analysis of polymers: Calorimetry in the limit of slow and fast heating rates

  • Cebe P
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This review focuses on new insights into the crystal melting transition and the amorphous glass transition of polymers that have been gained through recent advances in thermoanalytical methods. The specific heat capacity can now be studied under two extreme limits, that is, under quasi-isothermal conditions (limit of zero heating rate) and, at the other end of the scale, under rapid heating conditions (heating rates on the order of thousands of degrees per second), made possible through nanocalorimetry. The reversible melting, and multiple reversible melting, of semicrystalline polymers is explored using quasi-isothermal temperature modulated differential scanning calorimetry, TMDSC. The excess reversing heat capacity, above the baseline, measured under nearly isothermal conditions is attributed to locally reversible surface melting and crystallization processes that do not require molecular nucleation. Observations of double reversible melting endotherms in isotactic polystyrene suggest existence of two distinct populations of crystals, each showing locally reversible surface melting. The second subject of the review, nanocalorimetry, is utilized to study samples of small mass under conditions of very fast heating and cooling. The glass transition properties of thin amorphous polymer films are observed under adiabatic conditions. The glass transition temperature appears to be independent of film thickness, and is observed even in ultra-thin films. Recrystallization and reorganization during rapid heating are studied by nanocalorimetry of semicrystalline polymers. The uppermost endotherm seen under normal DSC scanning of poly(ethylene terephthalate) is caused by reorganization, and vanishes under the rapid heating conditions (3000K/s) provided by nanocalorimetry. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc

Author-supplied keywords

  • Nanocalorimetry
  • Quasi-isothermal
  • Thermal properties

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  • Peggy Cebe

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