Fibre formation in injection moulded polyethylene-sodium lignosulphonate blends and its relationship to the morphological zones
In injection-moulded parts, the degree of orientation (anisotropy) varies over the cross-section. Normally, such parts exhibit a layered structure, with a biaxially oriented surface layer (stretching of the flow front during mould filling), a highly oriented shear zone, and a core region with a relatively low orientation. This paper describes a novel method to show the different morphological zones by studying the occurrence and structure of fibres formed during injection moulding of certain incompatible blends, in the present case a mixture of high-density polyethylene and a technical lignosulphonate grade (Wanin S). The polyethylene fibres formed during processing of this composite were ribbon-shaped in the surface layer (biaxial orientation), while they had a normal appearance in the shear zone. Only relatively few fibres were found in the core region. A qualitative agreement was found when the fibre character in the various layers was compared with orientation data from thermal shrinkage measurements, as obtained with pure polyethylene samples (test bars).