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Abstract

Four model TPO systems, with and without slip agent (erucamide) and talc fillers (surface-treated or untreated), were investigated using a newly developed linear load-increase scratch-test methodology. Our findings suggest that both the use of slip agent and surface-treatment of talc fillers can greatly reduce scratch visibility. FTIR spectra indicate that only surface-treated talc allows slip agent to freely migrate to the TPO surface to greatly reduce scratch visibility. The untreated talc appears to exhibit a possible physical or chemical interaction with the erucamide and to trap erucamide from escaping to the surface. The influence of talc fillers and erucamide on surface damage mechanisms has been determined. In particular, systems containing surface-treated talc and erucamide tend to exhibit prolonged ductile drawing and increase the load required to initiate scratch visibility. POLYM. ENG. SCI. 46:601–608, 2006. © 2006 Society of Plastics Engineers