Thermally reduced graphene/polypropylene nanocomposites: Effects of processing method on thermal, mechanical, and morphological properties

Carmen K. Abuoudah, Ahmed Z. Abuibaid, Yaser E. Greish, Heike M.A. Ehmann, Basim Abu-Jdayil, Muhammad Z. Iqbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In polymer processing, solvent and melt intercalations compete in cost-to-property improvements. In this study, melt intercalation and solution blending methods are investigated for manufacturing graphene/polyolefin nanocomposites. Thermally reduced graphene (TRG) was synthesized and characterized by X–Ray Diffraction, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. A two-step extrusion process was used to prepare polypropylene/TRG (PP/TRG) nanocomposites and compared with solution blended composites. The composites were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction, Small Angle X-Ray Scattering, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, and mechanical properties. Although, PP crystalline structure remained unaltered with the inclusion of TRG and processing route, the morphology and plastic deformation changed drastically in nanocomposites. Furthermore, Small Angle X-Ray Scattering revealed formation of surface graphenic layer in solution-processed PP/TRG responsible for lower property increment consistent with mechanical and thermal properties results. The two-step extrusion led to enhanced homogenous dispersion of TRG; consequently, the melt-processed nanocomposites exhibited better mechanical properties compared with solution-processed nanocomposites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247
JournalJournal of Polymer Research
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Melt intercalation
  • Polypropylene
  • Solution blending
  • Thermal reduction
  • Thermally reduced graphene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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