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Abstract

Tensile and impact behavior of CaCO3-filled polypropylene was studied in the composition range 0–60 wt % filler. Tensile modulus increased while tensile strength and breaking elongation decreased with increase in CaCO3 content. The modulus increase and elongation decrease were attributed to increased filler–polymer interaction resulting in reduction in molecular mobility, while increased amorphization and obstruction to stress transfer accounted for the tensile strength decrease. Analysis of tensile strength data showed introduction of stress concentration in the composites. Izod impact strength at first increased up to a critical CaCO3 content, beyond which the value decreased. Surface treatment of CaCO3 with a titanate coupling agent LICA 12 enhances the adhesion of the filler and polymer, which further modifies the strength properties. Scanning electron microscopic studies indicated better dispersion of CaCO3 particles upon surface treatment, which effected the changes in the strength properties of the composites.