Influence of a particulate nucleating agent on the quiescent and flow-induced crystallization of isotactic polypropylene

Nilesh Patil, Carmine Invigorito, Markus Gahleitner, Sanjay Rastogi

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35 Scopus citations


Flow induced crystallization of commercial isotactic polypropylene (iPP) and its blends with sodium 2,2′-methylene bis-(4,6-di-tert-butylphenyl) phosphate (also known as NA11) is studied by means of in-situ time resolved small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The isothermal crystallization at 145 C (i.e. well below melting temperature of polymer) is performed after the application of steady shear to probe the anisotropic structure formation. In order to separate the influence of shear rate and shear time on polymer crystallization, four different shear conditions (60 s-1 for 1 s, 30 s-1 for 2 s, 15 s-1 for 4 s and 6 s-1 for 10 s) are applied while maintaining the same imposed strain in the polymer melt. Further the effect of different concentration of nucleating agent on the crystallization kinetics of iPP is examined both under quiescent and shear flow conditions. For instance, under quiescent condition, the crystallization half-time (τ1/2) decreases with the increasing concentration of nucleating agent in the polymer. Under shear flow conditions, our observations are as follows: In the case of neat iPP, τ1/2 decreases significantly at higher shear rates (≥30 s-1). Compared to the neat iPP, for the same concentration of NA11 in the NA11/iPP blends differences in τ1/2 with the increase in applied shear rates are significantly smaller. In other words, the crystallization kinetics is dominated by the amount of nucleating agent in the NA11/iPP blends as opposed to shear rates in the neat iPP. The present study shows that the critical value of shear rate required for chain orientation in the molten polymer is lower in the presence of the nucleating agent compared to neat iPP. The self-nucleation process investigated with the aid of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), indicates that the nucleating efficiency of NA11 on iPP is around 60%. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5883-5891
Number of pages9
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 4 2013

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