Preparation and characterization of recycled polypropylene based nanocomposites

Cengiz, Filiz
The aim of this study was to improve the mechanical properties of a recycled grade polypropylene. Polymer blends and nanocomposites were prepared by melt compounding method in a twin screw extruder. Cloisite® 15A, Cloisite® 25A and Cloisite® 30B were used as organoclays, and ethylene-methyl acrylate-glycidyl methacrylate (E-MA-GMA) and maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (PP-MAH) were used as compatibilizers. The effects of additive concentrations, types of organoclays and compatibilizers, processing conditions, and the compatibilizer to organoclay ratio on the morphology and mechanical, thermal and flow properties were investigated. Organoclay loading over 2 wt% prevented the intercalation mechanism and material properties, even in the presence of compatibilizer, as a consequence of large clay agglomerate formation. E-MA-GMA compatibilizer improved the intercalation ability of the polymer; however a substantial increase in mechanical properties was not obtained. PP-MAH is found to be a better compatibilizer. Processing conditions significantly affected both mechanical properties and morphology. When the processing temperature was decreased and screw speed was increased simultaneously, tensile and impact properties were improved owing to enhanced shear and dispersive forces. TEM analysis revealed that intercalated and delaminated structures were formed with the addition of PP-MAH compatibilizer. In addition to that, as the ratio of PP-MAH to organoclay was increased, more effective dispersion of organoclay was observed and hence resultant improvements in both tensile and impact properties were greater at compatibilizer to organoclay ratio of three. Cloisite® 15A exhibited the highest improvements in mechanical properties, although the degree of organoclay dispersion was better for Cloisite® 25A and particularly for Cloisite® 30B. Melt flow index values were lower compared to pure recycled polypropylene in the presence of organoclay and compatibilizers. DSC analysis indicated no significant change in the melting behavior of the matrix materials. n.


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Citation Formats
F. Cengiz, “Preparation and characterization of recycled polypropylene based nanocomposites,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.