Mechanical and morphological anisotropy in injection molding of thermotropic liquid crystalline copolyesters

Stanley Rendon, Wesley R. Burghardt*, Robert A. Bubeck, Lowell S. Thomas, Bruce Hart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Relationships among mechanical properties, degree of molecular orientation and molding conditions are investigated in injection molded plaques fabricated from a 4,4′-dihydroxy-α-methylstilbene (DHαMS)-based thermotropic liquid crystalline copolyester. Wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) patterns reveal bimodal orientation states at most locations in the plaques. One population aligns roughly along the anticipated flow direction while a separate population is generated as a result of transverse stretching associated with diverging streamlines during mold filling. Micro-tensile bars are cut from the plaques both parallel and perpendicular to the filling direction to assess anisotropy in properties. Enhanced molecular orientation and properties 'in-shear' are observed for thinner plaques fabricated at relatively low mold temperatures and melt temperatures slightly above the nominal melting point of the polymer. Injection fill speed is not found to have a significant effect on anisotropy in tensile strength/stiffness. Mechanical properties such as tensile modulus and fracture stress are found to obey a 'universal' correlation with X-ray measurements of molecular orientation projected onto the axis of the testing specimens. These results suggest that even in the presence of complex, spatially heterogeneous orientation states, simple average measures of orientation can provide a robust means of anticipating macroscopic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10202-10213
Number of pages12
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 14 2005


  • Injection molding
  • Liquid crystalline polymer
  • Molecular orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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