Polypropylene Nanocomposites Based on Designed Synthetic Nanoplatelets
L. Sun, J. Liu, S.R. Kirumakki, E.D. Schwerdtfeger, R.J. Howell, K. Al-Bahily, S.A. Miller, A. Clearfield, H-J Sue
Texas A&M University, US
Keywords: nanocomposite, polypropylene, alpha-zirconium phosphate derivative, exfoliation
Abstract:Polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites were prepared based on synthetic nanoplatelets, i.e., alpha-zirconium phosphate (alpha-ZrP), via in situ polymerization. The designed alpha-ZrP-derivatives contain methyl groups on the surface to increase hydrophobicity, which yield good compatibility with toluene and propylene molecules in the reactor. The incorporation of methyl groups on the layers of alpha-ZrP-derivatives also produces a “porous pathway” structure in the nanoplatelet gallery, which facilitates fast diffusion of propylene monomers. PP/alpha-ZrP nanocomposites were successfully prepared with a high level of exfoliation. The implication of the present findings is discussed.