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Polymer Structure Evaluation Technology

Evaluation of polymers with layered structures on wide range of length scales

Polymer materials have a hierarchical structure formed of various length scales. Therefore, with crystalline polymers, for example, there are calls for structural evaluation at a wide range of different length scales, ranging from micron-order spherocrystals to subnano-order intercrystal separation. By combining various polymer structure evaluation technologies it is possible to analyze the diverse hierarchical structure of polymers.

Structure analysis using SPring-8, the world's largest radiation light facility

The structure and properties of polymer materials vary greatly according to manufacturing conditions, engineering processes, and the environment in which they are used. For example, in the film stretching process, the structure of the film under stress loading during film stretching and then after film stretching is quite different. Being able to evaluate structural changes in situ during the actual engineering process would be ideal, but this would require specialized equipment as such structural changes occur on an ongoing basis. However, using the powerful x-ray capabilities of SPring-8, the world’s largest synchrotron radiation facility, we were able to observe structural changes as they occurred during film stretching and we found that during film stretching, the PVA film, which was in solution, changed from a lamellar structure to a fibrillar structure.
The experimental setup using BL40B2 at SPring-8,  the world’s largest synchrotron radiation facility

The experimental setup using BL40B2 at SPring-8, the world’s largest synchrotron radiation facility

The experimental setup using BL40B2 at SPring-8, the world’s largest synchrotron radiation facility

The experimental setup using BL40B2 at SPring-8, the world’s largest synchrotron radiation facility

Stress-strain/small-angle X-ray scattering simultaneous measuring results obtained during film stretching

Stress-strain/small-angle X-ray scattering simultaneous measuring results obtained during film stretching

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