The multiple melting behavior of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) was investigated with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) by examining PET samples having been subjected to special schemes of crystallization and annealing treatment at multiple descending temperatures. Upon such step-wise annealing in decreasing temperatures, the existence of doublet melting peaks in addition to a series of multiple minor peaks in the PET has been demonstrated using carefully designed thermal schemes. Using the Hoffman theory, multiple lamellae populations, might be suggested to be simultaneously present in the PET subjected to such thermal treatments. However, direct experimental evidence has yet to be provided. The low-temperature minor crystals simply melt during normal scanning without having time enough to reorganize into higher-melt crystals. Nevertheless, the effect of scanning on non-isothermal crystallization does exist but is primarily confined to the temperature range much below the main melting region where the crystallization of polymer chains can progress at a reasonable rate. At higher temperatures near the main melting region, annealing for extended times is required in order to result in relative changes of the melting endotherms of the upper and lower peaks in the main melting doublet. In all we have shown that interpretations of the multiple melting phenomenon in semicrystalline polymers can be better refined.
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