Abstract

An impulse-induced attenuated total reflection (ATR) based dynamic compression step-scan time-resolved Fourier transform rheo-optical system has been developed. This system was used to observe different viscoelastic properties of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHx), and carbon-black-filled polyester–polyamide blend. In the case of PET, almost no viscoelastic response extending beyond 15 ms was observed in the dynamic absorbance difference time domain spectrum. In contrast, PHBHx showed apparently different viscoelastic responses in the dynamic absorbance difference spectrum, especially in the C=O stretching band region. A long relaxation tail of the 1723 cm<sup>−1</sup> band lasting about 2.7 milliseconds was clearly seen. The tail corresponds to the structural or morphological reorganization of a less ordered crystalline form (Type II) under compressive perturbation. The carbon-black-filled polyester–polyamide blend film also shows different viscoelastic response tails. In this case, the amide C=O stretching vibration band does not show distinct viscoelastic responses, suggesting that the polyamide component does not contribute much to the viscoelastic properties. The present method shows promise for characterizing a wide variety of viscoelastic materials, including polymer alloys, blends, composites, copolymers, and semicrystalline polymers.

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