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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Boric Acid Ester Modified Magnesium Borate Whisker on the Mechanical Properties and Crystallization Kinetics of Polypropylene Composites

by Jin-Hua Luo 1,†, Shi-Hu Han 2,3,†, Juan Wang 4, Hui Liu 4, Xiao-Dong Zhu 2,4,* and Shan-Hua Chen 2,*
1
College of Vanadium and Titanium, Panzhihua University, Panzhihua 617000, China
2
College of Materials and Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
3
Eternal Chemical Co., Ltd., Chengdu 611535, China
4
College of Mechanical Engineering, Chengdu University, Chengdu 610106, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Materials 2020, 13(7), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13071698
Received: 11 January 2020 / Revised: 10 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 5 April 2020
Polypropylene (PP) is notch sensitive and brittle under severe conditions of deformation, limiting wider range of its usage as a structural load-bearing polymer. Hence, in this work the magnesium borate whisker (MBw), with similar mechanical properties to carbon fiber but much less expensive than polycrystalline silicon carbide, was modified by boric acid ester (BAE) and then used to fabricate PP composites. The mechanical properties, morphology, and non-isothermal crystallization property of virgin PP, PP/MBw, and PP/BAE-MBw composites were studied through mechanical testing, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), respectively. The non-isothermal crystallization data was analyzed via Mo, Kissinger, and Dobreva methods. The results reveal that the incorporation of BAE-MBw into PP matrix results in higher tensile strength and impact strength than those of virgin PP and PP/MBw composite. The activation energies based on Kissinger were 190.20 kJ/mol for virgin PP, 206.59 kJ/mol for PP/MBw, and 218.98 kJ/mol for PP/BAE-MBw. The nucleation activities of whiskers determined by the Dobreva model were 0.86 for PP/MBw and 0.75 for PP/BAE-MBw. As a result, the whiskers, especially the modified whiskers, act as active substrates to facilitate heterogeneous nucleation, which leads to an increase in crystallization rate. View Full-Text
Keywords: polypropylene; magnesium borate whisker; composite; mechanical properties; non-isothermal crystallization behavior polypropylene; magnesium borate whisker; composite; mechanical properties; non-isothermal crystallization behavior
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Luo, J.-H.; Han, S.-H.; Wang, J.; Liu, H.; Zhu, X.-D.; Chen, S.-H. Effects of Boric Acid Ester Modified Magnesium Borate Whisker on the Mechanical Properties and Crystallization Kinetics of Polypropylene Composites. Materials 2020, 13, 1698.

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