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.
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