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Stephan Laske, Andreas Witschnigg, Hannelore Mattausch, Milan Kracalik, Gerald Pinter, Michael Feuchter, Guenther Maier, Clemens Holzer
Determining the ageing of polypropylene nanocomposites using rheological measurements

Appl. Rheol. 22:2 (2012) 24590 (9 pages)

Abstract: The principle of silicate layer reinforcement in a polymer matrix is known as the formation of a 3D network of single layers. Nevertheless there is still a lack of knowledge about the physical ageing of nanocomposites respectively the stability of this network over time. As most of the nanocomposite applications have a more or less long-term shelf life respectively storage time, the investigation of the storage-time dependent behavior of the layered 3D structure in a polymer matrix is of major interest. In this study, the rheological (shear and elongational) properties of different polypropylene nanocomposites were measured using a cone-plate rheometer and a Rheotens apparatus. To evaluate the structural stability over time, the samples were measured immediately after processing and after defined periods (18 and 36 months) stored under constant conditions. Furthermore the network structure was determined using XRD and TEM measurements. The results show, that, depending on the clay rate and especially the degree of exfoliation, the rheological properties are changing significantly. Thereby chain splitting caused by photo-oxidative degradation, leading to a loss in molecular weight, as well as a weakened 3D network by reverse diffusion of the polymer chains out of the clay gallery and/or reagglomeration of the nanoparticles are the two main factors. © 2012 Applied Rheology.

DOI 10.3933/ApplRheol-22-24590

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