Document Type: Original research
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Korea
Key Lab. of Synthetic Rubber, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academic of Science, China
Despite the great potential of graphene as a nanofiller, achieving homogeneous dispersion remains the key challenge for effectively reinforcing polyolefin (such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP)) nanocomposites. Therefore, in this research, we report a facile combined in situ polymerization and masterbatch method for fabricating PP/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanocomposites. In the polymerization stage, the synthesized catalyst exhibited a very high activity toward propylene polymerization, while the resultant PP/rGO with a very high isotactic index (I.I. = 99.3), broad molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn = 14.9), and thermal stability was produced. After meltblending with commercial PP, a significantly increased modulus along with no observable change in tensile strength and elongation-at-break were achieved via the addition of a very small amount of rGO; these properties resulted from the suitable dispersion and good interface adhesion of the graphene sheet and PP matrix. Thus, this work provides a method for production of high performance PP.