Nematic effects and strain coupling in entangled polymer melts under strong flow

Jacob J K Kirkensgaard, Ludovica Hengeller, Andriy Dorokhin, Qian Huang, Christopher J. Garvey, Kristoffer Almdal, Ole Hassager, Kell Mortensen

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We use small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) to study labeled short chains with and without the influence of an entangled and highly stretched surrounding environment of longer chains. We find unequivocal evidence of nematic effects as the blend chains in steady state flow are stretched a factor ∼1.5 more from the presence of the long chain nematic field. In the pure melt we confirm that the nonaffine mean-field result ν=0.5 for the strain coupling is still valid for very fast flows, while in the nematic system our analysis predicts an increased coupling constant. We provide a structural explanation for the two first regimes of the nonlinear relaxation, particularly a transition regime where the long chains are relaxing in a sea of reptating short chains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number020502
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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