• crystal structures;
  • nanocomposites;
  • poly(propylene);
  • (PP);
  • strength;
  • toughness


Atactic polypropylene (aPP) was chemically grafted onto attapulgite (ATP) via the bridge linking of a polymerizable cationic surfactant and poly(octadecyl acrylate) in the presence of ultrasonic oscillation and dicumyl peroxide, and then, the modified ATP was added to a polypropylene (PP) matrix to obtain PP nanocomposites by melt blending. The results of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed that aPP and poly(octadecyl acrylate) were chemically grafted onto ATP through a graft polymerization reaction. The results of the mechanical properties testing showed that the addition of modified ATP improved the toughness and strength of PP remarkably. The dynamic mechanical analysis indicated that the modified ATP significantly increased the storage modulus and decreased the glass-transition temperature of PP. The results of scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy showed that the modified ATP was uniformly dispersed into the PP matrix as crystal needles; this proved the presence of strong interactions between modified ATP and PP. The crystal structure analysis revealed that the β-form crystalline of PP was formed within the modified ATP. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011