Understanding and controlling the structure of polypropylene/layered silicate nanocomposites

Authors

  • K. Chrissopoulou,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, P. O. Box 1527, Heraklion Crete 711 10, Greece
    • Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, P. O. Box 1527, Heraklion Crete 711 10, Greece
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  • I. Altintzi,

    1. Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, P. O. Box 1527, Heraklion Crete 711 10, Greece
    2. Department of Physics, University of Crete, Heraklion Crete 710 03, Greece
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  • I. Andrianaki,

    1. Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, P. O. Box 1527, Heraklion Crete 711 10, Greece
    2. Department of Physics, University of Crete, Heraklion Crete 710 03, Greece
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  • R. Shemesh,

    1. Carmel Olefins Ltd, R & D, P.O. Box 1468, Haifa 31014, Israel
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  • H. Retsos,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
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  • E.P. Giannelis,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
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  • S. H. Anastasiadis

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, P. O. Box 1527, Heraklion Crete 711 10, Greece
    2. Department of Physics, University of Crete, Heraklion Crete 710 03, Greece
    3. Department of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 541 24, Greece
    • Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas, P. O. Box 1527, Heraklion Crete 711 10, Greece
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Abstract

The miscibility and structure in polypropylene/layered silicate nanocomposites is systematically investigated utilizing a maleic-anhydride grafted polypropylene with a low degree of functionalization acting as the compatibilizer. The morphology of the hybrids can be modified from phase separated to almost completely exfoliated in a controlled way by varying the ratio α of the compatibilizer to the organophilized clay; this ratio α is found to be the most important parameter in determining the final structure whereas exfoliated structures can be obtained for α values of 9 or higher. Furthermore, utilization of a “masterbatch” procedure can enhance the degree of exfoliation even for smaller values of α; in that case, polypropylene is essentially mixed with the already dispersed “hairy” platelets. Investigation of the thermal stability of the micro- and nanocomposites shows that high degree of exfoliation is vital in increasing the temperature that the polymer starts to degrade. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 46: 2683–2695, 2008

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