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Abstract

In the present study, high density polyethylene (HDPE)-based composites containing different amounts of fumed silica (FS) were prepared by melt compounding in a corotating twin screw extruder. Polyethylene-g-maleic anhydride copolymer (PE-g-MA) containing 1 wt% maleic anhydride was used for interface modification between filler and polymer. The interaction between the surface hydroxyl groups of fumed silica nanoparticles with maleic anhydride groups of PE-g-MA led to a finer dispersion of the filler in the HDPE matrix. The terminal complex viscosity and terminal storage modulus were highest at 1 wt% filler loading due to widely spread network formation by FS nanoparticles. This filler network plausibly got disturbed at higher filler content and/or interface modification which was reflected in their stress relaxation behavior also. The dynamic rheological behavior of the composites was explained in terms of morphological observations. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2012 Society of Plastics Engineers