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Materials 2015, 8(12), 8279-8291; doi:10.3390/ma8125451

Polypropylene/Short Glass Fibers Composites: Effects of Coupling Agents on Mechanical Properties, Thermal Behaviors, and Morphology

1
Laboratory of Fiber Application and Manufacturing, Department of Fiber and Composite Materials, Feng Chia University, Taichung City 40724, Taiwan
2
School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung City 40402, Taiwan
3
Department of Fashion Design, Asia University, Taichung City 41354, Taiwan
4
Department of Fiber and Composite Materials, Feng Chia University, Taichung City 40724, Taiwan
5
Office of Physical Education and Sports Affairs, Feng Chia University, Taichung City 40724, Taiwan
6
The Polymeric Biomaterials Laboratory, Department of Fiber and Composite Materials, Feng Chia University, Taichung City 40724, Taiwan
7
Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung City 40601, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wen-Hsiang Hsieh
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 16 November 2015 / Accepted: 20 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ICETI2014)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8315 KB, uploaded 2 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

This study uses the melt compounding method to produce polypropylene (PP)/short glass fibers (SGF) composites. PP serves as matrix while SGF serves as reinforcement. Two coupling agents, maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene, (PP-g-MA) and maleic anhydride grafted styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene block copolymer (SEBS-g-MA) are incorporated in the PP/SGF composites during the compounding process, in order to improve the interfacial adhesion and create diverse desired properties of the composites. According to the mechanical property evaluations, increasing PP-g-MA as a coupling agent provides the composites with higher tensile, flexural, and impact properties. In contrast, increasing SEBS-g-MA as a coupling agent provides the composites with decreasing tensile and flexural strengths, but also increasing impact strength. The DSC results indicate that using either PP-g-MA or SEBS-g-MA as the coupling agent increases the crystallization temperature. However, the melting temperature of PP barely changes. The spherulitic morphology results show that PP has a smaller spherulite size when it is processed with PP-g-MA or SEBS-g-MA as the coupling agent. The SEM results indicate that SGF is evenly distributed in PP matrices, but there are distinct voids between these two materials, indicating a poor interfacial adhesion. After PP-g-MA or SEBS-g-MA is incorporated, SGF can be encapsulated by PP, and the voids between them are fewer and indistinctive. This indicates that the coupling agents can effectively improve the interfacial compatibility between PP and SGF, and as a result improves the diverse properties of PP/SGF composites. View Full-Text
Keywords: polypropylene (PP); Short glass fibers (SGF); coupling agent; mechanical properties; thermal behaviors polypropylene (PP); Short glass fibers (SGF); coupling agent; mechanical properties; thermal behaviors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, J.-H.; Huang, C.-L.; Liu, C.-F.; Chen, C.-K.; Lin, Z.-I.; Lou, C.-W. Polypropylene/Short Glass Fibers Composites: Effects of Coupling Agents on Mechanical Properties, Thermal Behaviors, and Morphology. Materials 2015, 8, 8279-8291.

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