Thermal behavior of poly(ethylene-co-propylene) containing carbon nanofibers

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The effect of carbon nanofiber on the thermal behavior of poly(ethylene-co-propylene) (PEP) as revealed by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis is reported. Analysis showed faster crystallization of PEP at higher temperature upon cooling with the increase of carbon nanofiber (CNF) content. The crystallization behavior changed to a single narrow crystallization peak as compared with the broad double crystallization peak of the neat polymer. This demonstrates the nucleation ability of CNF to induce crystals with more uniform distribution. The modified-Avrami approach was used to study the crystallization behavior. We found that the crystallization rate constant increased with addition of CNFs. The dimensionality of crystal growth was found not to depend significantly on the content of CNF. Thermal degradation in air was monitored using thermogravimetric analysis and observed that the incorporation of nanofiber greater than 2.4 vol% improves thermal stability of PEP. All these results indicate that CNFs can significantly help polymer processing and increase thermal stability of polymers.


Copyright © 2011 Society of Plastics Engineers

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Polymer Engineering & Science