Propagation of frontal polymerization—crystallization waves

Vit Volpert, Vl Volpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We consider polymerization–crystallization waves in a cylindrical reactor, in which monomer is converted to polymer in a planar front. The polymer is subsequently crystallized in a wider zone behind the front. Specifically, we study uniformly propagating polymerization–crystallization waves, and determine profiles of temperature, and concentrations of polymer and crystallized polymer, as well as the propagation velocity. A linear stability analysis of the travelling wave solutions indicates the possibility of Hopf bifurcation, which describes the transition to the experimentally observed spinning mode of propagation, in which a hot spot is observed to propagate along a helical path on the surface of the cylinder. Since conditions at the time of conversion determine the nature of the polymer produced, spiral hollows, which trace out a helical path, appear on the surface of the crystallized polymer product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-215
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Mathematics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


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