Polypropylene/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites. Review of the Synthetic Routes and Materials Properties

E. Manias *, A. Touny, L. Wu, K. Strawhecker, B. Lu, and T. C. Chung

Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
325-D Steidle Building,
University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

Received February 12, 2001

Revised Manuscript Received May 21, 2001

Abstract:

The synthetic routes and materials properties of polypropylene/montmorillonite nanocomposites are reviewed. The nanocomposite formation is achieved in two ways: either by using functionalized polypropylenes and common organo-montmorillonites, or by using neat/unmodified polypropylene and a semi-fluorinated organic modification for the silicates. All the hybrids can be formed by solventless melt-intercalation or extrusion, and the resulting polymer/inorganic structures are characterized by a coexistence of intercalated and exfoliated montmorillonite layers. Small additions -typically less than 6 wt%- of these nanoscale inorganic fillers promote concurrently several of the polypropylene materials properties, including improved tensile characteristics, higher heat deflection temperature, retained optical clarity, high barrier properties, better scratch resistance, and increased flame retardancy.

* Adress correspondence to: manias@psu.edu

Copyright 2001 American Chemical Society