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Improvement of toughness in polypropylene nanocomposite with the addition of organoclay/silicone copolymer masterbatch



Polypropylene nanocomposites were prepared with organic-modified montmorillonite, by blending the polymer and the organoclay (direct addition), or by blending the polymer with an organoclay/silicone copolymer masterbatch. The effect of the organoclay/silicone copolymer masterbatch on the morphology and properties of polypropylene was compared with that nanocomposite obtained with the direct organoclay addition. The results showed that the morphology of both polypropylene nanocomposites is constituted by clay tactoids together with some few individual platelets and clay aggregates. Smaller tactoids were observed for the nanocomposite prepared with the masterbatch, in which the silicone copolymer remained intercalated in the clay or adjacent to tactoids. The introduction of the organoclay in the polymer matrix resulted only in an increase in the Young's modulus (28%), while yielding stress, elongation at break and Izod impact strength remained practically unchanged. On the other hand, the incorporation of organoclay by using the masterbatch resulted in a marked improvement (111%) in the elongation at break and in Izod impact strength (85%). The improvement in the elongation at break came with the reduction of the modulus and the yielding stress, by 25 and 15%, respectively. POLYM. COMPOS., 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers

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