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Modification of calcium carbonate surfaces in natural gas plasma for their use in polypropylene composite systems

Öztürk, Serhat
In this study calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles are surface modified by using plasma polymerized natural gas and effects of surface modification of CaCO3 filler on mechanical properties of CaCO3-PP composites are investigated. Different combination of plasma factors; RF power, natural gas flow rate, and plasma discharge durations, are investigated. Mechanical properties such as tensile strength and Young’s Modulus are measured by tensile testing machine. Storage modulus and loss modulus measurements are done by DMA. Some information about structures generated by natural gas plasma surface modification is obtained by FTIR tests. The tensile fracture surfaces of prepared composites are investigated by using SEM micrographs. It is concluded that, despite some enhancement obtained in the moduli; the technique of natural gas plasma surface modification of CaCO3 particles did not introduce significant improvement in mechanical properties of composite as expected. This result may partially be attributed to selected plasma parameters (i.e., flow rate, RF power, and discharge duration).