Investigation on the properties and on the photo-oxidation behaviour of polypropylene/fumed silica nanocomposites

Francesco Paolo La Mantia, Maria Chiara Mistretta, Luigi Botta, Maria Chiara Mistretta, Francesco Paolo La Mantia, Vincenzo Titone, Vincenzo Titone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work investigates the effects of very small amounts of fumed silica on the morphology and on the rheological and mechanical behaviour of polypropylene nanocomposites and on their photo-oxidation behaviour. Polypropylene nanocomposites were prepared using a twin-screw corotating extruder with 0, 1 and 2 wt/wt% of SiO2. Morphological, mechanical, thermomechanical and rheological properties were examined. It was found that the viscosity of the matrix is reduced by the presence of the silica nanoparticles, suggesting a poor adhesion between the two phases and probably some lubricating effect. On the contrary, the mechanical and, in particular, the thermomechanical properties of the matrix are considerably improved by the presence of the silica. In particular, elastic modulus and tensile strength increases remarkably, and this effect becomes more and more remarkable with an increasing temperature. As for the photo-oxidation behaviour, the presence of silica improves the photostability of the polypropylene matrix. This effect has been attributed to both the barrier to the oxygen and to the absorbance of the UV radiation from the silica nanoparticles. Finally, no significant effect of the silica nanoparticles has been put in evidence on the crystallisation behaviour of the polypropylene. As for the effect of the silica content, the difference in the properties of the two nanocomposites is relatively small and all the measured properties depend much less than linearly with its amount. This has been correlated with the reaggregation of the nanoparticles that, having a larger size, decrease the contact area between the matrix and the filler.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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