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Polymers 2014, 6(12), 2912-2927; doi:10.3390/polym6122912

The Effect of Multiple Extrusions on the Properties of Montmorillonite Filled Polypropylene

Centre for Polymer and Material Technologies (CPMT), Department of Industrial Technology and Construction, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Technologiepark 903, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 August 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
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Nanocomposites have attracted a great deal of interest during recent years. Much research has been conducted towards the incorporation of clay particles in a polypropylene matrix. However, the effect of extrusion reprocessing on the material properties has not been studied in depth. In this study, composites of polypropylene (PP) reinforced with organic modified montmorillonite (MMT) (4 wt%) and coupling agent were subjected to 15 extrusion cycles. The materials were characterized by melt flow index (MFI), plate-plate rheometry, tensile testing and impact measurements, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed an improved intercalation of the MMT clay in the first few extrusions, thus improving the mechanical properties. Increasing the processing steps furthermore lead to a decrease in elastic modulus and impact strength, which was attributed to a reduction in matrix-filler interaction, most probably caused by organoclay degradation as shown by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results of this study provide a useful insight in either the recycling of PP/MMT waste streams or the use of clay particles as a strengthening filler agent in the recycling process of different polymer waste streams. View Full-Text
Keywords: extrusion; reprocessing; polypropylene; degradation; recycling; characterization extrusion; reprocessing; polypropylene; degradation; recycling; characterization

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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

Delva, L.; Ragaert, K.; Degrieck, J.; Cardon, L. The Effect of Multiple Extrusions on the Properties of Montmorillonite Filled Polypropylene. Polymers 2014, 6, 2912-2927.

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