Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 82–88 | Cite as

Comparison of the influence of copper micro- and nano-particles on the mechanical properties of polyethylene/copper composites

  • J. A. Molefi
  • A. S. LuytEmail author
  • I. Krupa


This article reports on the influence of copper content and particle size on the tensile properties of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) mixed with up to 25 vol.% Cu micro-particles and up to 5 vol.% Cu nano-particles, and on the influence of Cu micro-particle content on the dynamic mechanical properties of these polymers. This influence depends upon the extent of branching and crystallinity in the particular polymer. The copper micro-particles seemed to have a negligible influence on the tensile strength of LDPE and HDPE, while there was quite a significant reduction in tensile strength when LLDPE was used as matrix. The elongation at break generally decreased with increasing copper content, but the effect was more significant in the case of LDPE and HDPE. The tensile modulus generally increased with increasing Cu content, but the extent of increase was lower in the case of the more crystalline HDPE. The nano-copper containing samples showed comparable properties at equivalent Cu contents. The storage and loss moduli generally increased with increasing Cu. For all three polyethylenes the β-transition (where present) was not significantly influenced by the presence and amount of copper, but the α-transition was strongly influenced, especially in the case of LDPE and LLDPE.


Storage Modulus HDPE LDPE Filler Content LLDPE 



The National Research Foundation of South Africa (GUN 62693), the University of the Free State and, in part, the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education of Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences (Project No. 2/0063/09) are acknowledged for financial support of this research.


  1. 1.
    Long Y, Shanks RA (1996) J Appl Polym Sci 61:1877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bartczak Z, Argon AS, Cohen RE, Weinberg M (1999) Polymer 40:2347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Misra RKD, Nerikar P, Bertrand K, Murphy D (2004) Mater Sci Eng A 384:284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Unal H, Mimaroglu A, Alkan M (2004) Polym Int 53:56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Takahara A, Magome T, Kajiyama T (1994) J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 32:839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dibenedetto AT (2001) Mater Sci Eng A 302:74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lebaron PC, Wang Z, Pinnavaia TJ (1999) Appl Clay Sci 15(1–2):11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Molefi JA, Luyt AS, Krupa I (2009) eXPRESS Polym Lett 3(10):639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Krupa I, Novák I, Chodák I (2004) Synth Met 145:245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gungor A (2006) J Appl Polym Sci 99:2438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Krupa I, Chodák I (2001) Eur Polym J 37:2159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Krupa I, Miková G, Novák I, Janigová I, Nógellová Z, Lednický F, Prokeš J (2007) Eur Polym J 43:2401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Luyt AS, Molefi JA, Krump H (2006) Polym Degrad Stabil 91:1629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rusu M, Sofian N, Rusu D (2001) Polym Test 20:409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nurazreena, Hussain LB, Ismail H, Mariatti M (2006) J Thermoplast Comp Mater 19(4):413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tan S, Zhang M, Rong M, Zeng H (2004) Polym Comp 20(3):406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Turi EA (1997) Thermal characterization of polymer materials, 2nd edn. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ward IM (1971) Mechanical properties of solid polymers, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sirotkin RO, Brooks NW (2001) Polymer 42:9801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Menard KP (1999) Dynamic mechanical analysis: a practical introduction. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USACrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of the Free State (Qwaqwa Campus)PhuthaditjhabaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Polymer InstituteSlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovak Republic

Personalised recommendations