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Issue 27, 2014
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Modelling flow-induced crystallisation in polymers

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Flow profoundly influences the crystallisation kinetics and morphology of polymeric materials. By distorting the configuration of polymer chains, flow breaks down the kinetic barriers to crystallisation and directs the resulting crystallisation. This flow-induced crystallisation (FIC) in polymers is a fascinating, externally driven, non-equilibrium phase transition, which is controlled by kinetics. Furthermore, the effect is of central importance to the polymer industry as crystallisation determines virtually all of the useful properties of semi-crystalline polymer products. However, simulating flow-induced crystallisation in polymers is notoriously difficult due to the very wide spread of length and timescales, especially as the most pronounced flow-induced effects occur for long chains at low undercooling. In this article I will discuss multiscale modelling techniques for polymer FIC. In particular, I will review recent attempts to connect modelling approaches across different levels of coarse-graining. This has the ultimate aim of passing insight from the most detailed simulation techniques to more tractable approaches intended to model polymer processing. I will discuss the exciting prospects for future work in this area.

Graphical abstract: Modelling flow-induced crystallisation in polymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Dec 2013, accepted on 12 Feb 2014 and first published on 13 Feb 2014

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CC49668F
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Citation: Chem. Commun., 2014,50, 3531-3545

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    Modelling flow-induced crystallisation in polymers

    R. S. Graham, Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 3531
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CC49668F

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