Journal of Materials Science, Vol.47, No.7, 3052-3063, 2012
Isothermal crystallization kinetics of glass fiber and mineral-filled polyamide 6 composites
In this study, isothermal crystallization kinetics of polyamide 6 (PA6) composites reinforced with surface-treated glass fiber (GF) and natural, clay-type mineral (MN) were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry method in the presence and absence of a nucleating agent (NA). Microstructural features of the composites and interfacial interactions between filler and polyamide phases were also quantified by rheological measurements. The kinetic parameters for the isothermal melt-crystallization process of the samples were determined with the Avrami and Lauritzen-Hoffman models. The crystallization activation energies were determined by the Arrhenius method. It was found that the both fillers yielded a significant increase in the storage modulus of PA6. Kinetic calculations showed that the MN has a more pronounced acceleration effect on the crystallization rate of PA6 than the GF. Introduction of a small amount of NA significantly favored the isothermal crystallization rate of GF-reinforced PA6 but did not accelerate that of MN-reinforced one. Based on the results, it has been highlighted that PA6 composites reinforced with surface-treated GFs and including a small amount of clay-like mineral as a cheap and easy-accessible minor filler could yield the best performance for the injection-molded PA6 parts because the GF enhances the mechanical properties and the clay-like mineral accelerates the crystallization rate.