Crystallization, mechanical, and fracture behavior of mullite fiber-reinforced polypropylene nanocomposites

Muthukumaraswamy Ranagraj Vengatesan, Swati Singh, Vishnu V. Pillai, Vikas Mittal

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15 Scopus citations


This study describes the reinforcement effect of surface modified mullite fibers on the crystallization, thermal stability, and mechanical properties of polypropylene (PP). The nanocomposites were developed using polypropylene-grafted-maleic anhydride (PP-g-MA) as compatibilizer with different weight ratios (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 wt %) of amine functionalized mullite fibers (AMUF) via solution blending method. Chemical grafting of AMUF with PP-g-MA resulted in enhanced filler dispersion in the polymer as well as effective filler-polymer interactions. The dispersion of nanofiller in the polymer matrix was identified using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) elemental mapping and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. AMUF increased the Young's modulus of PP in the nanocomposites up to a 5 wt % filler content, however, at 10 wt % loading, a decrease in the modulus resulted due to agglomeration of AMUF. The impact strength of PP increased simultaneously with the modulus as a function of AMUF content (up to 5 wt %). The mechanical properties of PP-AMUF nanocomposites exhibited improved thermal performance as compared to pure PP matrix, thus, confirming the overall potential of the generated composites for a variety of structural applications. The mechanical properties of 5 wt % of AMUF filled PP nanocomposite were also compared with PP nanocomposites generated with unmodified MUF and the results confirmed superior mechanical properties on incorporation of modified filler.

Original languageBritish English
Article number43725
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number30
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2016


  • composites
  • crystallization
  • mechanical properties
  • morphology
  • polyolefins


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