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Crystallization and melting behavior of HDPE in HDPE/teak wood flour composites and their correlation with mechanical properties



The nonisothermal crystallization behavior and melting characteristics of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in HDPE/teak wood flour (TWF) composites have been studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) methods. Composite formulations of HDPE/TWF were prepared by varying the volume fraction (ϕf) of TWF (filler) from 0 to 0.32. Various crystallization parameters evaluated from the DSC exotherms were used to study the nonisothermal crystallization behavior. The melting temperature (Tm) and crystallization temperature (Tp) of the composites were slightly higher than those of the neat HDPE. The enthalpy of melting and crystallization (%) decrease with increase in the filler content. Because the nonpolar polymer HDPE and polar TWF are incompatible, to enhance the phase interaction maleic anhydride grafted HDPE (HDPE-g-MAH) was used as a coupling agent. A shift in the crystallization and melting peak temperatures toward the higher temperature side and broadening of the crystallization peak (increased crystallite size distribution) were observed whereas crystallinity of HDPE declines with increase in ϕf in both DSC and WAXD. Linear correlations were obtained between crystallization parameters and tensile and impact strength. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010