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Nanoparticle effects on the morphology and mechanical properties of polypropylene spunbond webs

Authors

  • Raghavendra R. Hegde,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-2200
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-2200
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  • Gajanan S. Bhat

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-2200
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-2200
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Abstract

We report morphology and mechanical properties of natural nanoclay incorporated spunbond polypropylene composite webs. Nanocomposite spunbond webs were produced with up to 5 wt % natural nanoclay additives on Reicofil®-2 spunbond line. Influence of nanoclay on the resin rheological properties, processibility, and mechanical properties of webs were studied. Wide angle X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy analysis were used to investigate the nanocomposite morphology. Intercalated and flocculated morphology was observed for all the concentrates and for all the spunbond fiber webs. The microstructure and polymer morphology in the presence of additives was characterized using a polarized optical microscope. At higher percentage, excess clay platelets were excluded out of the spherulite boundaries. About 20–30% increase in tear strength was observed for webs with up to 2 wt % nanoclay additives. Compared with the control polypropylene spunbond web, nanoclay reinforced samples showed better dimensional stability. Different failure mode was observed for spunbond webs with additives. Spunbond webs with even as low as 1 wt % clay retain their morphology and integrity in bond point after thermal bonding. Nanoclay incorporated spunbond webs showed significant improvements in the stiffness. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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