Polymer crystallisation

Polyethylene Crystals

Polymer crystallisation is astonishing in that normally flexible long molecular chains can align to form crystals that compete with diamond in their order and beauty. Polyethylene crystallisation is commercially very, very important but has also served as a template to help understand the way in which natural and human polymers can also crystallise. On reflection I now realise just how lucky I was to work for a PhD under the guidance of two great scientist Andrew Keller, who dedicated his life almost exclusively to the understanding of polymer crystallisation and Sir Charles Frank who had many scientific interests including crystallisation.

Most of my polymer crystallisation work took place at Bristol University between 1970-1976. Crystallisation is  also part of the High Modulus Polyethylene (HMP) story (1970-1990s) that is told in the Innovation section of this web site.

The development of the Multpass Rheometer (MPR) apparatus resulted in renewed interest in crystallisation using both insitu XRay and optical techniques for the studies on the effect of flow on polyethylene melt crystallisation

There have been other excursions into crystallisation with Sopark Sonwai, (Cocoa Butter) and Nuno Reis (Proteins).

A summary presentation on the crystallisation of polyethylene.


A recent seminar presentation is relevant to crystallisation during flow.


Papers relevant to Crystallisation