The mechanical properties of mineral-filled polypropylene (PP) are determined not only by the size, shape and modulus of the filler particles, but also by microstructure. For example, poor impact strength is correlated with a high capacity for nucleation of crystallization. In the present study, optical microscopy has been used to measure the growth rate of spherulites in PP. In tandem with this, isothermal d.s.c. measurements have been made of the crystallization of the PP filled with talc, calcium carbonate and stearate-coated carbonate at different loading levels. Computer simulation of spherulite growth has been used to derive the number of nucleating sites per unit volume of polymer and, using surface area measurements, the number of sites per unit area of mineral surface was obtained. Values for talc were, as expected, considerably higher than those for carbonate (and especially coated carbonate) fillers. The presence of filler affects not only the nucleation and kinetics of the crystallization process but also the crystallinity and orientation indices and the proportion of//-phase crystallites present. The connection between these factors and impact strength is discussed. It is concluded that impact properties are determined by inter alia crack pinning and blocking by filler particles, stress concentrations at the edges of the filler particles, and the nucleating ability of the filler
Посилання на статтю:
Nucleation and crystallization of polypropylene by mineral fillers: relationship to impact strength / P. M. McGenity, J. J. Hooper, C. D. Paynter, A. M. Riley, C. Nutbeem,N. J. Elton and J. M. Adams* // Polymer. – 1992. – Vol 33. – P. 5215-5224.