Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 863–873 | Cite as

Thermal stability of high density polyethylene–fumed silica nanocomposites

  • A. Dorigato
  • A. Pegoretti
  • A. Frache


High-density polyethylene-based nanocomposites were prepared through a melt compounding process by using surface functionalized fumed silica nanoparticles in various amounts, in order to investigate their capability to improve both mechanical properties and resistance to thermal degradation. The fine dispersion of silica aggregates led to noticeable improvements of both the elastic modulus and of the stress at yield proportionally to the filler content, while the tensile properties at break were not impaired even at elevated filler content. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the selected nanoparticles were extremely effective both in increasing the decomposition temperature and in decreasing the mass loss rate, even at relatively low filler loadings. The formation of a char enriched layer, limiting the diffusion of the oxygen through the nanofilled samples, was responsible of noticeable improvements of the limiting oxygen index, especially at elevated silica loadings. In contrast with commonly reported literature results, cone calorimeter tests also revealed the efficacy of functionalized nanoparticles in delaying the time to ignition and in decreasing the heat release rate values. Therefore, the addition of functionalized fumed silica nanoparticles could represent an effective way to enhance the flammability properties of polyolefin matrices even at low filler concentrations.


Polyethylene Silica Nanocomposites Thermal properties 



Dr. Denis Lorenzi and Ing. Fabio Cuttica are gratefully acknowledged for their support to the experimental work.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Engineering and Industrial Technologies (DIMTI)University of TrentoTrentoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering (DISMIC)Polytechnic of TurinAlessandriaItaly

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