P. Zipper, A. Jánosi, E. Wrentschur, W. Geymayer, E. Ingolic, W. Friesenbichler, F. Eigl
June 22, 2013
Circular disks (280 mm diameter, 2 mm thickness) were injection molded from two grades of isotactic polypropylene under systematic variation of processing parameters (melt temperature, mold temperature, flow rate, packing pressure, and packing time) according to a two-level fractional factorial design. The disks showed ring-shaped zones (“halos”) of enhanced turbidity. The wide-angle X-ray scattering of the disks was measured as a function of the distance from the gate at 13 positions along the radius, using a diffractometer and reflection geometry. These measurements yielded radial profiles of the orientation of α-PP and of the distribution of β-PP crystallites. Both kinds of profiles revealed clear correlations with the polymer grade and with the melt and/or mold temperature. Radial profiles of optical turbidity of the disks were obtained by means of a microdensitometer. Pronounced maxima of turbidity were found to coincide with the maxima observed in the radial distribution of β-PP. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) of the experiments showed that the mass temperature has the greatest influence on the radial distances of the maxima of turbidity. Increasing mass temperature led to decreasing radial distances of the turbidity maxima, whereas the mold temperature as well as the flow rate only had a small influence on the radial positions of the turbidity maxima. The investigation of cross-sections, which were taken from some disks at selected distances from gate, by means of optical microscopy using polarized light revealed significant changes in the morphology with increasing distance from gate, e.g., changes in the size and distribution of β-PP spherulites.