Cavitation appears in many semi-crystalline polymers when they are subjected to uniaxial stretching above their glass transition temperatures. Generally, the formation of voids is influenced by the morphology of semi-crystalline polymers, including their lamellae thickness, lamellae orientation, as well as the arrangement of the amorphous phase. Upon stretching, the size of the voids changes as a function of the local strain. Synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) can be used as a powerful method to in-situ monitor the evolution of voids with high time and spatial resolution. In this chapter, recent reports about the cavitation behavior of semi-crystalline polymers studied by SAXS are reviewed. Afterwards, the theoretical background related to the SAXS technique is introduced. Lastly, some exemplary results about the cavitation behavior of microinjection-molded isotactic-polypropylene, studied by synchrotron SAXS measurements, are presented.
Part of the book: Small Angle Scattering and Diffraction