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I have tested a PAEK family polymer using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) with heating-cooling-heating cycles under different cooling rates (heating rates remained unchanged). PAEK are semi-crystalline polymers.

In theory, the crystallization enthalpy during the cooling cycle is similar to the melt enthalpy during the second heating cycle since the crystals formed during the cooling cycle are later melted.

Based on my results, the crystallization enthalpy decreases as the cooling rate increases (expected behavior), however, the subsequent melt enthalpy remains pretty much the same as the crystallization enthalpy value at the lowest cooling rate. The experiments were conducted with a few repeats and the results seem consistent.

What could be the cause(s) of this behavior?

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