Hybrid composites based on polypropylene (PP), glass fiber (GF) and halloysite nanotubes (HNT) were prepared in the presence of a compatibilizer, polypropylene grafted with maleic anhydride (PP-g-MAH), in a twin screw extruder. The properties of the micro composite (PP/GF), nanocomposite (PP/HNT) and hybrid composite (PP/GF/HNT) were studied and compared. The dispersion of the fillers in the base matrix and the effectiveness of the compatibilizer were ascertained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The tensile strength and modulus of the hybrid composite prepared in the presence of PP-g-MAH were found to be superior to those of the compatibilized micro and nanocomposites. Differential scanning calorimetry gave insight to the effect of the fillers on modifying the crystallization behavior of the base polymer. The combination of GF and HNT increased the crystallization temperature of PP phase in all the composites. The dynamic mechanical analysis proved that the fillers introduced in the polymer matrix restricted the relaxation of the PP polymer chains as evidenced by the rise in the glass transition temperature (T g ). The thermal stabilities of the hybrid composites were far superior to the neat polymer as the fillers formed an insulating layer delaying the degradation tendency and elevated the activation energy. The flammability of PP could be modified tremendously by the incorporation of the fillers as they reduced the burning rate and raised the limiting oxygen index values.
A. Jenifer, Rasana, N., and Dr. Jayanarayanan K., “Synergistic effect of the inclusion of glass fibers and halloysite nanotubes on the static and dynamic mechanical, thermal and flame retardant properties of polypropylene”, Materials Research Express, vol. 5, no. 6, p. 065308, 2018.