The main goal of this work is to analyze the relationships between the extensional rheological behavior of solid nanocomposites based on high melt strength polypropylene (HMS PP) and montmorillonites (MMT) and the cellular structure and mechanical properties of foams produced from these materials. For this purpose two systems have been analyzed. The first one incorporates organomodified MMT and a compatibilizer and the second system contains natural clays and is produced without the compatibilizer. Results indicate that the extensional rheological behavior of both materials is completely different. The strain hardening of the polymer containing organomodified clays decreases as the clay content increases. As a consequence, the open cell content of this material increases with the clay content and hence, the mechanical properties get worse. However, in the materials produced with natural clays this relationship is not so clear. While no changes are detected in the extensional rheological behavior by adding these particles, the nano-filled materials show an open cell structure, opposite to the closed cell structure of the pure polymer, which is caused by the fact of having particle agglomerates with a size larger than the thickness of the cell walls and a poor compatibility between the clays and the polymer.
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Financial support from PIRTU contract of E. Laguna-Gutierrez by Junta of Castile and Leon (EDU/289/2011) and cofinanced by the European Social Fund is gratefully acknowledged. Cristina Saiz-Arroyo would like to acknowledge Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) via Torres Quevedo Program (PTQ-12-05504). Finally, financial assistance from MINECO and FEDER program (MAT 2012 – 34901) MINECO, FEDER, UE (MAT2015-69234-R) and the Junta de Castile and Leon (VA035U13) are gratefully acknowledged.
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