Thermodynamics of strain-induced crystallization of random copolymers†
Industrial semi-crystalline polymers contain various kinds of sequence defects, which behave like non-crystallizable comonomer units on random copolymers. We performed dynamic Monte Carlo simulations of strain-induced crystallization of random copolymers with various contents of comonomers at high temperatures. We observed that the onset strains of crystallization shift up with the increase of comonomer contents and temperatures. The behaviors can be predicted well by a combination of Flory's theories on the melting-point shifting-down of random copolymers and on the melting-point shifting-up of strain-induced crystallization. Our thermodynamic results are fundamentally important for us to understand the rubber strain-hardening, the plastic molding, the film stretching as well as the fiber spinning.