Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Lozano

Second Advisor

Dr. Magdalena Chipara

Third Advisor

Dr. Dorina Mihut


Isotactic Polypropylene (IPP) is a commonly known thermoplastic that has unique properties include being light weight, high performance, impact strength, tensile strength, elongation, and high temperature properties. The use of vapor grown carbon nanofiber (VGCNF) reinforcements on polypropylene has shown to produce high specific modulus, strength, electrical and thermal properties on specimens. Thermogravimetric (TGA) investigations on the thermal degradation of isotactic polypropylene – vapor grown carbon nanofibers composites in nitrogen were reported. The mass evolution as a function of temperature is a single sigmoid for both polypropylene and polypropylene loaded with VGCNF. The inflection temperature of these sigmoids increases as the concentration of VGCNF is increased. The width of the degradation process narrows as the concentration of VGCNF is increased due to a better homogenization of the local temperature provided by the high thermal conductivity of carbon nanofibers. TGA analysis data indicates the formation of polymer – VGCNF interface.


Copyright 2013 Anna Alicia Hernandez. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American