POLYOLEFIN-BASED NANOCOMPOSITES: THE ROLE OF COMPATIBILIZER ON THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF WS2 NANOTUBES-REINFORCED POLYPROPYLENE
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Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most widely used engineering polyolefins and intensive research efforts are made currently for tailoring its final properties through the preparation of its nanocomposites. PP-nanocomposites are reported to have an increased thermal stability, better mechanical properties, enhanced barrier and other properties . Incorporating inorganic nanotubes in the polymer matrix results in a nanocomposite polymeric material with improved properties that reflect the excellent properties of the nanotubes. These excellent properties of inorganic nanotubes like tungsten disulfide (WS2), such as their high modulus and low friction coefficient attributed to their small size, closed structure and chemical inertness, make them potential candidates to improve the thermal, mechanical and other properties of thermoplastic polymers . A lot of work is underway for dispersing nanoparticles in polymer matrices more successfully and efficiently, because the degree of dispersion affects most of the nanocomposite’s properties. Some routes involve the surface modification of the nanofiller, while another route follows the incorporation of a second polymer into the mixture as a compatibilizer. The second route seems to be the most promising one, since it is easier to be implemented in industrial scale. Several works report the use of maleic-anhydride- grafted polypropylene (PPGMA) for enhancing the dispersion of layered silicates inside the PP matrix. In this work, we investigate the role of compatibilizing agent PPGMA on the mechanical properties of WS2 nanotubes-reinforced PP nanocomposites. More specifically, we report the preparation process, the structural, thermal and mechanical characterization of polymer nanocomposites based on a ternary blend consisting of PP, PPGMA and WS2 nanotubes.