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The Role of Reduced Graphene Oxide in the Suspension Polymerization of Styrene and Its Effect on the Morphology and Thermal Properties of the Polystyrene/rGO Nanocomposites

Institute of Textile Engineering and Polymer Materials, University of Bielsko-Biala, 43-309 Bielsko-Biala, Poland
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Polymers 2020, 12(7), 1468; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12071468 (registering DOI)
Received: 4 June 2020 / Revised: 26 June 2020 / Accepted: 29 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials Modified Polymeric Composites)
Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was used to obtain Polystyrene (PS)/rGO nanocomposites via in-situ suspension polymerization. The main goal of the article was to determine how rGO influences the morphology and thermal properties of PS beads. The obtained samples were studied by means of a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and calorimetric and thermogravimetric analysis (DCS, TGA). It was proven that the addition of rGO, due to the presence of polar functional groups, causes significant changes in bead sizes and size distribution, and in their morphology (on the surface and in cross-section). The increasing amount of rGO in the polymer matrix increased the size of beads from 0.36 to 3.17 mm for pure PS and PS with 0.2 wt% rGO content, respectively. PS/rGO nanocomposites are characterized by distinctly improved thermostability, which is primarily expressed in the increase in their decomposition temperature. For a sample containing 0.3 wt% rGO, the difference is more than 12 °C in comparison to pure PS beads. View Full-Text
Keywords: in situ polymerization; reduced graphene oxide; polystyrene beads; morphology of beads in situ polymerization; reduced graphene oxide; polystyrene beads; morphology of beads
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sieradzka, M.; Fabia, J.; Biniaś, D.; Fryczkowski, R.; Janicki, J. The Role of Reduced Graphene Oxide in the Suspension Polymerization of Styrene and Its Effect on the Morphology and Thermal Properties of the Polystyrene/rGO Nanocomposites. Polymers 2020, 12, 1468.

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