M. Obadal, R. Čermák, N. Baran, K. Stoklasa, J. Šimoník
May 2, 2013
Structural transformations of semicrystalline polymers form an important field of current scientific research. The preparation of controlled supermolecular structure may lead to significant improvements in mechanical, thermal and optical properties. As for isotactic polypropylene (iPP), its properties essentially depend on its crystalline phase composition, which is due to polymorphism of iPP. Thus, the aim of this work is to analyze the influence of the β-phase content in polypropylene and of its spatial arrangement on mechanical properties, in particular on its impact strength. Commercially available isotactic polypropylene (iPP) was modified by various amounts of a specific β-nucleating agent (N, N'-dicyclohexylnaphtalene-2,6-dicarboxamide). From the prepared mixtures standard impact testing bars were injection molded. The structure of the specimens was studied by X-ray diffractometry, and impact properties were determined using Charpy impact tester. It was found that addition of the nucleator led to β-phase content increase, especially in the core region of the injection molded samples. The skin (surface layer of the samples) contained lower amount of β-phase. Furthermore, notch impact strength dramatically increased with increasing concentrations of the β-nucleating agent. The concentration of 0.03 wt.% of the nucleator can be considered a “boundary value” due to the fact that the maximum notch impact strength value was reached. With further addition of the nucleating agent the impact strength slowly decreased. Therefore it should be noted that the improvement of impact properties is not only due to the presence of β-phase, but also there are some synergy-applied factors – such as the structural heterogeneity and spatial arrangement of the β-phase in injection molded samples.