Evaluation of Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Polypropylene-Based Nanocomposites Reinforced with Silica Nanofillers via Melt Processing Followed by Injection Molding

Mantsha Hennie Erna Seshweni, Mamookho Elizabeth Makhatha, Orebotse Joseph Botlhoko, Babatunde Abiodun Obadele, Vijeesh Vijayan, Dundesh S. Chiniwar, Pawan Kumar, H. M. Vishwanatha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Polymer nanocomposites have been of great interest to packaging, energy, molding, and transportation industries due to several favorable properties including a higher resistance to stress and cracking even under flexed conditions, and also a chemical resistance to water, acids, and alkalis. The current work disseminates the studies on the mechanical and thermal properties of the polypropylene HHR102 polymer reinforced with nano dispersoids of silicon dioxide at varied weight fractions. The nanocomposites, fabricated via melt processing followed by injection molding, were tested for tensile strength, % elongation, tensile modulus, and impact toughness. Further, the samples were also subjected to dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to determine the dynamic storage modulus and thermal stability. The addition of nano-silica in polypropylene HHR102 resulted in enhanced ductility and well-balanced tensile modulus; however, the tensile strength and impact toughness were found to be decreased. On the other hand, the storage modulus was significantly increased for all nano-silica (NS)-containing polypropylene HHR102 matrices. With the increased nano-silica content, the storage modulus was optimal. Further, with the lower weight loss of 30% and 50%, the thermal stability of the increased silica content PP nanocomposites was much affected. However, it improved at a weight loss of 30% for the lower silica content PP nanocomposite (PP-1%NS). The imbibition was found to increase with the increase in NS. The increase in imbibition is attributed to the micro-voids generated during ageing. These micro-voids act as channels for water absorption. Further, the degree of crystallinity of the nanocomposites was decreased as a result of inhibition by the nano-particles on the regular packing of polymer molecules. The structure–property correlations were explicated based on the achieved mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number520
JournalJournal of Composites Science
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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