Characterization and properties of activated nanosilica/polypropylene composites with coupling agents
Ong, Hui Lin, Dr.
Hazizan, Md Akil
Zainal Arifin, Mohd Ishak
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In this work, nanosilica/polypropylene composites containing 1 wt% of silica nanoparticles were prepared by melt mixing in a Thermo Haake internal mixer. Prior compounding, nanosilica was subjected to surface activation using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution. The effectiveness of the activation process was evaluated by measuring the amount of hydroxyl groups (-OH) on the surface of nanosilica via titration method and supported by FTIR analysis. Two coupling agents namely 3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES) and neopentyl (diallyl)oxy,tri(dioctyl) phosphate titanate (Lica 12) were used for surface treatment after activation process. The mechanical properties of polypropylene matrix reinforced with silica nanoparticles were determined by tensile and impact test. Hydroxyl groups on the nanosilica surface played an important role in enhancing the treatment with silane coupling agents. To increase the amount of hydroxyl groups on the nanosilica surface, the optimum concentration of NaOH is 1 mol%. Tensile strength, tensile modulus, and impact strength of nanosilica/PP composites improved with activation process. As the coupling agent is concerned, APTES coupling agent is more pronounced in enhancing the mechanical properties of the composites when compared with Lica 12 coupling agent.