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The effect of clay type and of clay–masterbatch product in the preparation of polypropylene/clay nanocomposites

Authors

  • Saddys Rodríguez-Llamazares,

    Corresponding author
    1. Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico, University of Concepción, Casilla 4051, Concepción, Chile
    2. Research Center of Advanced Polymer (CIPA), Av. Cordillera 2634, Parque Industrial Coronel, Coronel, Chile
    • Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico, University of Concepción, Casilla 4051, Concepción, Chile
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  • Bernabé L. Rivas,

    1. Polymer Department, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
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  • Mónica Pérez,

    1. Polymer Department, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
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  • Florence Perrin-Sarazin,

    1. Industrial Materials Institute, National Research Council of Canada, 75, de Mortagne, Boucherville, Quebec, Canada J4B 6Y4
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  • Alvaro Maldonado,

    1. Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico, University of Concepción, Casilla 4051, Concepción, Chile
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  • Carola Venegas

    1. Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico, University of Concepción, Casilla 4051, Concepción, Chile
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Abstract

Clay containing polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites were prepared by direct melt mixing in a twin screw extruder using different types of organo-modified montmorillonite (Cloisite 15 and Cloisite 20) and two masterbatch products, one based on pre-exfoliated clays (Nanofil SE 3000) and another one based on clay–polyolefin resin (Nanomax-PP). Maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (PP-g-MA) was used as a coupling agent to improve the dispersability of organo-modified clays. The effect of clay type and clay–masterbatch product on the clay exfoliation and nanocomposite properties was investigated. The effect of PP-g-MA concentration was also considered. Composite morphologies were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The degree of dispersion of organo-modified clay increased with the PP-g-MA content. The thermal and mechanical properties were not affected by organo-modified clay type, although the masterbatch products did have a significant influence on thermal and mechanical properties of nanocomposites. Intercalation/exfoliation was not achieved in the Nanofil SE 3000 composite. This masterbatch product has intercalants, whose initial decomposition temperature is lower than the processing temperature (T ∼ 180°C), indicating that their stability decreased during the process. The Nanomax-PP composite showed higher thermal and flexural properties than pure PP. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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