Isothermal crystallization of HDPE/octamethyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane nanocomposites: Role of POSS as a nanofiller



The isothermal crystallization of HDPE/POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane) nanocomposites (POSS content varying from 0.25 to 10 wt %) was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) technique. The Avrami model could successfully describe the isothermal crystallization behavior of the nanocomposites. The value of Avrami exponent (n) varies between 2 and 2.5 for all the compositions studied. For a given composition, the values vary with crystallization temperature and in general increased with POSS content up to 1 wt % POSS content and decreased thereafter. The presence of POSS was found to increase the rate of crystallization, which manifested itself in the increased value of the Avrami rate constant (K) and reduced value of crystallization half-time (t1/2). The rate of crystallization peaked at 1 wt % POSS content and was almost constant at higher POSS loadings. X-ray diffraction studies revealed that POSS exists as nanocrystals in HDPE matrix while some POSS gets dispersed at molecular level too. It is observed that only the POSS dispersed at molecular level acts as a nucleating agent while the POSS nanocrystals do not affect the crystallization process. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 2007