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[en] Ion tracks in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) were created by swift heavy ion irradiation and subsequently characterized using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Due to their reduced density compared to the surrounding matrix, cylindrical geometry, and parallel orientation, ion tracks produce a characteristic scattering pattern which allows quantitative analysis of their radius with high precision. For ion tracks in PET thermal annealing led to a gradual fading with a decrease in density difference yet a simultaneous increase in ion track radius. Such an increase in radius is the direct opposite compared to temperature induced ion track shrinking in inorganic materials, and suggests a very different thermal response of the polymer.