Liquid-crystalline polymers (LCPs) are to be investigated at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal.
The research will be carried out using temperature controlled microscopy company Linkcam Scientific Instruments and their CSS450 stage.
Liquid-crystalline polymers (LCPs) are materials with useful mechanical properties compared with ordinary industrial polymers. LCPs are not frequently used in industry due to their prohibitive production costs, but blending an LCP with a relatively common polymer is apparently one way to utilize them at a reduced cost.
Associated with the Department of Materials Science, University of Lisbon, CENIMAT (a national scientific research centre in Portugal) is devoted to developing new approaches in the areas of structural, electronic and optoelectronic, polymeric and mesomorphic, dielectric and electroactive materials.
Professor Maria Teresa Cidade and her colleagues are looking at the fibrillation mechanisms within two blends of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with a liquid crystalline polymer, Rodrun LC3000.
The scientists used a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the Linkam CSS450 stage to better understand the mechanical behaviour of the polymer blends.
Professor Cidade said: "The Linkam CSS 450 Shearing System allows us to follow the morphology/texture of different kind of fluids such as liquid crystals, emulsions and composites."
Using the CSS450, the structural dynamics of complex fluids can be directly observed using a standard optical microscope while under precisely controlled temperature and shear modes. The microstructure evolution of complex fluids can be studied for physical processes. This allows the correlation of the micro structural dynamics with rheological data to gain insight into the rheology of complex fluids. The images captured can also be used to validate numerical results from computer simulations and experimental data from indirect measurements such as using scattering techniques.