468152 Characterization and Synthesis of Polypropylene/Graphene Nanocomposite Materials

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Adarsh Bafana, Materials Engineering And Nanosensor (MEAN) Laboratory, Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, Xingru Yan, Integrated Composites Laboratory (ICL), Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, Suying Wei, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, John Zhanhu Guo, Integrated Composites Laboratory (ICL), Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, TN and Evan K. Wujcik, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Polymer nanocomposites (PnCs) find a range of applications from generic to specific uses. Graphene being a 2-D material displays unique characteristics such as being the lightest, hardest and strongest. Additionally, it also exhibits great thermal and electrical characteristics which lead to its applications in variety of areas and it has hence also drawn immense interest in the scientific community. In this work the fabrication of PnCs with homogeneous dispersion of graphene to reinforce polypropylene (PP), was carried out. The preparation of the polymer nanocomposite was carried out using solution mixing method. Characterization studies were carried out to investigate the effects of graphene nanoparticles (GnP) on the PP matrix. Thermal studies included Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) which showed improved thermal stability of the PnC. Morphological characteristics were analysed using X ray diffraction (XRD) which showed that the crystalline structure of the PP matrix is only slightly affected by the GnP. Rheological behaviour showed little changes in the PnC while mechanical analysis using Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) gave out that the frictional losses incurred due to mobility of polymer chains were reduced with increase in the GnP loading from 0.5% to 5%. The aforementioned characterization studies led to the inference that PP/ GnP nanocomposite affords improved properties of the composite material. This specific PnC finds applications as a material for construction of storage tanks for fluids which are much stronger as well lighter than the conventional storage tanks.

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