Properties and Semicrystalline Structure Evolution of Polypropylene/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites under Mechanical Load
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2011
Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) monitors tensile and load-cycling tests of metallocene isotactic polypropylene (PP), a blend of PP and montmorillonite (MMT), and two block copolymer compatibilized PP/MMT nanocomposites. Mechanical properties of the materials are similar, but the semicrystalline nanostructure of the PP differs. This is explained by a nucleation effect of the MMT. Competitive crystal growth diminishes crystallite sizes. The reinforcing effect of the MMT filler appears consumed by weakening the PP matrix. Decays of mechanical and nanostructure response in dynamic load cycling indicate materials fatigue. Lifetimes describe the reinforcing and weakening effects. Addition of 3% MMT halves the fortifying effect of the PP nanostructure. A net gain of reinforcement (11%) is observed with the highly compatibilized composite in which the strength of the semicrystalline PP is reduced to 25%. Other results concern the evolution of Strobl’s block structure and void formation during tensile loading.
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