Effects of process conditions and nano-fillers on the cell structure and mechanical properties of co-injection molded polypropylene-polyethylene composites

Gang Wang, Mengyao Dong*, Miaoda Yuan, Juanna Ren, Junwei Gu, Xiangning Zhang, Daqing Tan, Yue Zhang, Cheng Yao, Zeinhom M. El-Bahy, Eman Ramadan Elsharkawy, Zhanhu Guo*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Compared with traditional injection foaming, co-injection foaming serves as a method to prepare products with high-quality surfaces and enhanced mechanical properties, demonstrating excellent technical advantages and economic benefits. The effects of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) content, foaming agent content, melting temperature of core material, and nano-organic montmorillonite (OMMT) content on the cell structure, mechanical properties, and crystallization behavior of isotactic polypropylene (iPP)/HDPE composite foam prepared by co-injection foaming were systematically studied. At a foaming agent content of 2 wt.%, HDPE content of 30 wt.%, OMMT content of 3 wt.%, and the melting temperature of core material of 190 °C, the composite foam exhibited a cell size measuring 85 μm, a cell density of 2.5 × 105 cells/cm3, a tensile strength of 25.8 MPa, and an impact strength of 12.5 kJ/m2. The addition of HDPE reduced the crystallinity of iPP matrix, while enhancing the solubility of carbon dioxide within the matrix. The non-miscible interface between HDPE and iPP helped reduce the energy barrier for cell nucleation. Furthermore, the introduction of OMMT as a nucleating agent in iPP/HDPE composite material dramatically decreased the energy barrier for cell nucleation. These synergistic effects result in foam with the smaller cell size and the higher cell density, exhibiting excellent comprehensive mechanical properties. This work provides a feasible method for preparing composite foam with excellent comprehensive performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126935
Number of pages11
Early online date18 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2024

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