Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals

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Fumed silica particles filled polypropylene (PP) filament fibers were prepared by melt spin pilot plant. First, virgin PP and silicas(hydrophilic and hydrophobic) were premixed using twin screw extruder to prepare silica containing PP composite resin. Then, the resin composite was again mixed with virgin PP and spun into filaments with various filler loadings in the range of 0.5 - 2.5 wt%. The characterizations of spun composite fibers including crystallization temperature (DSC analysis), polymer orientation (sonic modulus) and the fine structure (XRD) were studied. XRD results showed β-form crystallinity peak in x-ray pattern of fiber drawn with low take-up speed (300 m/min), indicating that infused nano silica was capable of acting as β-form nucleating agent. The crystallization temperatures (Tc) of composite fibers were found to be higher than that of neat fiber, further confirming the nucleating effect of silica filler. However, the presence of silica dispersion resulted in the interference of polymer molecule orientation along a fiber axis as judged by sonic modulus measurement. As a result of hydrophobic silica loading, composite PP fibers exhibited the extent of thermal stability due to the fact that, in addition to a fraction of the heat absorbed by silica particles, extraheat was required to overcome interfacial adhesion force.

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