Spherulitic structure development of polymers
The final mechanical properties of semi-crystalline polymers strongly depend on the morphology which is governed by the respective processing and crystallization process. Therefore, a study of the crystallization behavior of polymers is of importance to get an inside view of the solidification of polymers in processing. The study of the spherulitic structure development during crystallization of semi-crystalline polymers can be per-formed with polarized light microscopy by using a hot stage. The specimens are heated up to a certain temperature above the melting temperature and then cooled down with a defined cooling speed. During cooling, the development of the spherulitic structure is recorded by using a CCD camera.
However, the growing of spherulites measured by polarized light microscopy is obtained under a confined 2D environment. Visualization can help to understand the growth in a real 3D volume element.