Two oxyethylene/oxybutylene triblock copolymers, B28E182B28 and E91B56E91, which have the same chain length and segregation strength but different architectures, were selected for characterization and the effect of architecture on crystallization rate and macroscopic morphology was investigated. It is found that these two triblock copolymers have similar melting temperatures and the same long periods both in the solid and in the melt. However, the crystallization temperature of E91B56E91 is more easily affected by the cooling rate in non-isothermal crystallization and E91B56E91 exhibits slower crystallization rate than B28E182B28 in isothermal crystallization. A novel macroscopic morphology that the frontier of crystallization zones and that of spherulites are mutually different is observed by polarized optical microscopy in E91B56E91, whereas these two frontiers are identical for B28E182B28. The slower crystallization rate and poorer ability of organization into spherulite of E91B56E91 are attributed to the difficulty in conformational change of the amorphous B block during crystallization since both ends of the B block are immobilized at the interface.
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Xu, J., Liang, G. & Fan, Z. Comparison of Crystallization Rate and Macroscopic Morphology of Two Oxyethylene/Oxybutylene Triblock Copolymers. The Effect of Molecular Architecture. Polym J 36, 465–471 (2004) doi:10.1295/polymj.36.465
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