Title: Influence of twin-screw configuration on the mechanical and morphological properties of polypropylene-clay composites

Authors: Laurens Delva; Kim Ragaert; Klaas Allaer; Antonio Gaspar-Cunha; Joris Degrieck; Ludwig Cardon

Addresses: Centre for Polymer and Material Technologies (CPMT), Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Technologiepark 915, 9052 Ghent, Belgium ' Centre for Polymer and Material Technologies (CPMT), Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Technologiepark 915, 9052 Ghent, Belgium ' Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Ghent University, Technologiepark 903, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium ' Institute for Polymers and Composites, IPC/I3N, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal ' Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Ghent University, Technologiepark 903, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium ' Centre for Polymer and Material Technologies (CPMT), Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Technologiepark 915, 9052 Ghent, Belgium

Abstract: The influence of eight different twin-screw configurations, mainly varying in arrangement of restrictive (negative) kneading elements, on the mechanical and morphological properties of composites of polypropylene (PP) reinforced with organic modified montmorillonite (MMT) and coupling agent polypropylene-grafted-maleic anhydride (PP-g-MA) was studied. Pressure profile, maximum strain, fill rate and average viscosity were calculated using an existing twin-screw modelling software. Impact and tensile tests results, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images and X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements of the composites showed no significant influence of the position of the negative kneading blocks.

Keywords: characterisation; nanocomposites; polypropylene; extrusion; nanoclay; twin-screw modelling; mechanical properties; morphological properties; polypropylene-clay composites; nanotechnology; pressure profile; maximum strain; fill rate; average viscosity; negative kneading blocks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.2016.073631

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 2016 Vol.52 No.1/2, pp.176 - 192

Available online: 14 Dec 2015 *

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