Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 46, Issue 18, pp 6075–6086 | Cite as

Morphological, thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties of polypropylene-nanoclay composites prepared from masterbatch in a twin screw extruder

  • Achmad Chafidz
  • Mohammad Al-haj Ali
  • Rabeh ElleithyEmail author


A commercial homopolymer polypropylene was melt blended with commercial nanoclay masterbatch at different concentrations of nanoclay using twin screw extruder (TSE). The influence of three different concentrations (5, 10, and 15 wt%) of the nanoclay on the morphological, thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties was investigated. The morphology of the nanocomposites was characterized using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), whereas, the thermal behavior (e.g., melting and crystallization) was characterized using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The melt rheology and dynamic mechanical properties were analyzed using a torsional rheometer. Additionally, the tensile properties were characterized as well. The morphological analysis showed that the nanoclay was well distributed in the PP matrix as indicated by the SEM micrographs. The DSC results showed that the presence of nanoclay in the PP matrix increased the degree of crystallinity of PP-nanoclay composites, which reached a maximum at 5 wt% of nanoclay concentration. However, the melting temperature of the PP-nanoclay composites was not affected by the presence of nanoclay particles. In addition, rheological analysis showed that the melt response gradually changed from pseudo-liquid like to pseudo-solid like as the nanoclay concentration increased. Moreover, the storage modulus (G′) increased by increasing nanoclay content. Furthermore, tensile test results showed that the addition of nanoclay leads to a significant enhancement in the mechanical properties of the PP nanocomposites.


Differential Scanning Calorimeter Storage Modulus Injection Molding Polymer Nanocomposites Twin Screw Extruder 



The authors are grateful to SABIC Polymer Research Center (SPRC) at King Saud University for allowing us to use their equipments and to the Engineering Research Center for their financial support. We would also like to thank the Deanship of Scientific Research and Research Center-College of Engineering at King Saud University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Achmad Chafidz
    • 1
  • Mohammad Al-haj Ali
    • 1
  • Rabeh Elleithy
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.SABIC Polymer Research CenterKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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