Crystallization of amorphous poly(lactic acid) (PLA) was investigated by exposing to vapor of acetone. The vapor of acetone induced crystallization of the amorphous PLA effectively. It took about 24 min to complete the crystallization of a 1 cm × 2 cm × 0.55 mm specimen at 25℃. The crystallization rate increased with increasing of conducting temperature. The crystallization method yielded high crystallinity about 40%, which was almost equal to that attained by annealing or immersion methods conducted as references. The specimens crystallized by the vapor showed higher transparency than those prepared by the reference methods. The crystallization was induced by diffusion of acetone into the amorphous phase of PLA, and polarized optical photomicrographs cleared that the diffusion obeyed Fick type diffusion.
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