Effect of maleic anhydride-grafted ethylene-propylene rubber on the mechanical, rheological and morphological properties of organoclay reinforced polyamide 6/polypropylene nanocomposites

W. S. Chow, A. Abu Bakar, Z. A. Mohd Ishak, J. Karger-Kocsis, U. S. Ishiaku

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Polyamide 6/polypropylene (PA6/PP = 70/30 parts) blends containing 4 phr (parts per hundred resin) of organophilic modified montmorillonite (organoclay) were compatibilized with maleic anhydride-grafted ethylene-propylene rubber (EPRgMA). The blends were melt compounded in twin screw extruder followed by injection molding. The mechanical properties of PA6/PP nanocomposites were studied by tensile and flexural tests. The microstructure of the nanocomposite were assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The dynamic mechanical properties of the PA6/PP blend-based nanocomposites were analyzed by using a dynamic mechanical thermal analyzer (DMTA). The rheological properties were conducted from plate/plate rheometry via dynamic frequency sweep scans. The melt viscosity in a high shear rate region was performed by using a capillary rheometer. The strength and stiffness of the PA6/PP-based nanocomposites were improved significantly with the incorporation of EPRgMA. Adding EPRgMA to the PA6/PP blends resulted in a finer dispersion of the PP phase. TEM and XRD results revealed that the organoclay was dispersed more homogeneously in the presence of EPRgMA, however, mostly in the PA6 phase of the blends. DMTA results showed that EPRgMA worked as an effective compatibilizer. The storage (G′) and loss moduli (G″) assessed by plate/plate rheometry of PA6/PP blends increased with the incorporation of EPRgMA and organoclay. Furthermore, the apparent shear viscosity of the PA6/PP blend increased significantly for the EPRgMA compatibilized PA6/PP/organoclay nanocomposite. This was traced to the formation of an interphase between PA6 and PP (via PA6-g-EPR) and effective intercalation/exfoliation of the organoclay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-696
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2005



  • Compatibilization, maleic anhydride-grafted ethylene-propylene rubber
  • Nanocomposites
  • Organoclay
  • Polyamide 6/polypropylene blends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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