Intercrystalline Links in Bulk Polyethylene

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Science  19 Nov 1965:
Vol. 150, Issue 3699, pp. 1026-1027
DOI: 10.1126/science.150.3699.1026


Strength-promoting intercrystalline links in polyethylene, crystallized from the melt, have been observed under the electron microscope. The links measure up to many thousands of angstroms in length (depending upon the molecular weight of the polymer) and are of the order of 100 Å in diameter. Their formation appears to be initiated by molecular chains which contact, and begin to crystallize upon, the surfaces of two or more different crystals, often some distance apart. Deposition continues until these molecular bridges are pulled taut. More molecules are laid down upon the bridges to build up the larger links, which are themselves crystalline and may well be extended-chain single crystals.