The role of poly(ethylene terephthalate-co-isophthalate) as interfacial agent in polypropylene–matrix composites
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The effect of modifying the particle/matrix interfacial region on the morphology and tensile behaviour of glass bead-filled polypropylene (PP) composites was studied. The interface modification was promoted by blending PP with a small concentration (5% by weight) of poly(ethylene terephthalate-co-isophthalate) (co-PET). Ten different PP/co-PET/glass beads ternary composites were prepared, characterized and compared with the homologous PP/glass beads binary ones. Maleic anhydride-grafted PP was added as a compatibilizing agent for PP and co-PET in some of the studied formulations, and its effect studied. Furthermore, four different silane-treated glass beads were used to prepare the composites (50 wt.%). Results showed that three different interfaces, corresponding to three different levels (low, middle and high) of particle/matrix adhesion, could be obtained in these composites by varying the matrix composition and the silane coupling agent on the glass bead surface, which resulted in a wide range of tensile properties, from ductile composites with low tensile strength and high elongation to brittle ones with high tensile strength. It was found that co-PET embeds glass bead surface independently of the silane coupling agent employed. Finally, the adhesion degree differences between the different composite phases seemed to be the main cause to explain the differences found in the sensitivity of the composite tensile characteristics to the strain rate.
KeywordsGlass Bead Interfacial Adhesion Silane Coupling Agent Interpenetrate Polymer Network Microsphere Composite
Authors thank the Spanish Ministry of Science (MEC) for financial support of MAT2004-01563 project. D. Arencón also thanks the CIRIT (Government of Catalonia, Spain) for a doctoral fellowship.
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