Polymer, Vol.53, No.13, 2792-2801, 2012
Stretching-induced interfacial crystalline structures and relevant mechanical properties in melt-spun polypropylene/whisker composite fibers
Crystalline structures especially the interfacial crystalline layers of semi-crystalline polymer/filler composites are markedly affected by the extensional force and keep an important role in macroscopic properties. In this study, we prepared the polypropylene and SiO2-MgO-CaO whisker (SMCW) composite fibers by melt-spun technology. The structure property relationship of the PP/SMCW composite fibers was investigated by scanning electron microscopy, polarizing light microscopy, differential scanning calorimeter, the polarized Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and tensile test. Two different interfacial crystalline structures were observed by adopting two drawn ratios shish-calabash structure obtained at the low drawn ratio and transcrystalline (TC) structure obtained at the high drawn ratio. Remarkable reinforcement of the fibers was realized for the composite fibers prepared at high drawn ratio, compared with that obtained at the low drawn ratio. It was deduced that the formation of transcrystalline structure could result in a better interfacial interaction than shish-calabash structure, and could be one of the most important reasons for the large improvement of tensile properties of composite fibers fabricated at high drawn ratio. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.