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Materials 2012, 5(6), 1084-1113; doi:10.3390/ma5061084

Glass Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Mechanical Properties Enhancement by Adhesion Improvement

Planta Piloto de Ingeniería Química, PLAPIQUI (UNS-CONICET), Cno. La Carrindanga Km. 7, Bahía Blanca 8000, Argentina
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Received: 10 April 2012 / Accepted: 26 May 2012 / Published: 18 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fibre-Reinforced Composites)

Abstract

Glass fibers (GF) are the reinforcement agent most used in polypropylene (PP) based composites, as they have good balance between properties and costs. However, their final properties are mainly determined by the strength and stability of the polymer-fiber interphase. Fibers do not act as an effective reinforcing material when the adhesion is weak. Also, the adhesion between phases can be easily degraded in aggressive environmental conditions such as high temperatures and/or elevated moisture, and by the stress fields to which the material may be exposed. Many efforts have been done to improve polymer-glass fiber adhesion by compatibility enhancement. The most used techniques include modifications in glass surface, polymer matrix and/or both. However, the results obtained do not show a good costs/properties improvement relationship. The aim of this work is to perform an accurate analysis regarding methods for GF/PP adhesion improvement and to propose a new route based on PP in-situ polymerization onto fibers. This route involves the modification of fibers with an aluminum alkyl and hydroxy-α-olefin and from there to enable the growth of the PP chains using direct metallocenic copolymerization. The adhesion improvements were further proved by fragmentation test, as well as by mechanical properties measurements. The strength and toughness increases three times and the interfacial strength duplicates in PP/GF composites prepared with in-situ polymerized fibers.
Keywords: glass fiber/polypropylene composites; in-situ polymerization; improvement adhesion; mechanical properties glass fiber/polypropylene composites; in-situ polymerization; improvement adhesion; mechanical properties
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Etcheverry, M.; Barbosa, S.E. Glass Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Mechanical Properties Enhancement by Adhesion Improvement. Materials 2012, 5, 1084-1113.

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