Influence of screw profile and extrusion conditions on the microstructure of polypropylene/organoclay nanocomposites

Abstract : Direct melt mixing in a twin screw extruder is a simple and classical technique for preparing nanocomposites by dispersing organoclay in a thermoplastic matrix. In this paper, we focus on organoclay/polypropylene nanocomposites, using maleated polypropylene as compatibilizer. The objective of the work is to characterize the influence of screw profile and processing conditions on the microstructure of the nanocomposite (intercalation and exfoliation). Different screw profiles, more or less severe in terms of mixing elements, have been investigated. For each profile, different processing conditions (feed rate, screw speed) have been tested. Samples were collected both at die exit and all along the screw profiles and analyzed (X-ray diffraction and rheometry). Numerical simulations have been performed to quantify the thermomechanical treatment experienced by the material inside the extruder. For all profiles and operating conditions, a mixed intercalated/exfoliated structure has been observed. Exfoliation increases linearly with the ratio of screw speed to feed rate, but is more important for the less severe profile. Except at low feed rate, intercalation and exfoliation do not change a lot along the screw profile. In many cases, the final microstructure is already obtained after the melting zone of the extruder.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 13, 2010 - 11:25:10 AM
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Wiboon Lertwimolnun, Bruno Vergnes. Influence of screw profile and extrusion conditions on the microstructure of polypropylene/organoclay nanocomposites. Polymer Engineering and Science, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007, 47 (12), pp.Pages: 2100-2109. ⟨10.1002/pen.20934⟩. ⟨hal-00509549⟩

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