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In situ formation of nanocomposites based on polyethylene and silica nanospheres

Authors

  • Paula Zapata,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Biotecnología, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile and the Centro para la Investigación Interdisciplinaria Avanzada en Ciencias de los Materiales (CIMAT), Blanco Encalada 2008, piso zócalo, Santiago, Chile
    • Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Biotecnología, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile and the Centro para la Investigación Interdisciplinaria Avanzada en Ciencias de los Materiales (CIMAT), Blanco Encalada 2008, piso zócalo, Santiago, Chile
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  • Raúl Quijada,

    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Biotecnología, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile and the Centro para la Investigación Interdisciplinaria Avanzada en Ciencias de los Materiales (CIMAT), Blanco Encalada 2008, piso zócalo, Santiago, Chile
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  • Rosario Benavente

    1. Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros (CSIC), Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006. Madrid, Spain
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Abstract

Polyethylene nanocomposites containing silica nanospheres, synthesized by the sol–gel method, were produced via in situ polymerization. The silica nanospheres were added together with the catalytic system [metallocene catalyst and methylaluminoxane (MAO) as cocatalyst] directly to the reactor and used for the polymerization of ethylene. The polymerization activity increased slightly in the presence of 1 wt % silica nanospheres in comparison to the homogeneous polymerization sans filler. The Young's modulus of the nanocomposites increased 19–25% without a significant decrease in the elongation at break with respect to the neat polyethylene. The polymer particle morphology was also significantly improved with the incorporation of silica nanospheres. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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