Improving the oxygen barrier properties of polyethylene terephthalate by graphite nanoplatelets

Authors

  • Ahmad Al-Jabareen,

    1. Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry, The Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel
    2. Materials Engineering Department, Al-Quds University, 20002 East Jerusalem, Palestine
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hammam Al-Bustami,

    1. Department of Advanced Materials Engineering, The Jerusalem College of Engineering, 91035 Jerusalem, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hannah Harel,

    Corresponding author
    1. Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry, The Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel
    • Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry, The Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gad Marom

    1. Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry, The Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Enhancement of the oxygen gas barrier properties of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), used in the packaging industry, is the main objective here. For this purpose, nanocomposites of PET containing graphite nanoplatelets (GNPs) were prepared by melt compounding. The effects of the nanocomposites' structural morphology on oxygen gas permeability were analyzed using a range of thermal, microscopic, and mechanical characterization techniques. The investigated nanocomposite films exhibited GNP exfoliated morphology and good mixing with PET, as well as uniform dispersion within the polymer. All nanocomposite films were shown to possess superior oxygen barrier properties and improved thermal and dimensional stability compared with the plain PET films. In the best case, for 1.5 wt % GNP, the oxygen permeation was reduced by more than 99%. The improved barrier properties are attributed to the direct effect of the GNPs and to their induced increase of degree of crystallinity. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

Ancillary