Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Continuous Process for Melt Intercalation of PP-Clay Nanocomposites with Aid of Power Ultrasound

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2005


A continuous ultrasound-assisted process using a single screw extruder with an ultrasonic attachment was developed to prepare PP/clay nanocomposites of varying clay concentrations. The feed rate that controlled the residence time of the polymer in the ultrasonic treatment zone was varied. Die pressure and power consumption were measured. Rheological properties, morphology, and mechanical properties of the untreated and ultrasonically treated nanocomposites were studied. An intercalation of polymer molecules into clay galleries and a partial exfoliation, which occur at short residence times (of the order of seconds), were observed as evident from measurements by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The obtained results indicate a possibility of the rapid intercalation and partial exfoliation of PP/clay nanocomposites without the matrix being chemically modified.



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