Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 2411–2420 | Cite as

Fracture propagation in particulate filled polypropylene composites

Part 1 Influence of filler nature
  • S. F. Xavier
  • J. M. Schultz
  • K. Friedrich


Isotactic polypropylene (PP) composites with 40% (by weight) of different fillers, such as talc, CaCO3 and mica (325 and 1000 mesh sizes) were prepared by injection moulding. In the case of PP-mica composites, scanning electron micrographs of the polished sections revealed that flakes are oriented in the skin areas parallel to the mould surface and in the interior there is a flake distribution more perpendicular to that. The notched specimens of PP and all its composites under study were fractured at −30, 25 and 80° C. Virgin PP exhibited brittle failure at −30 and 25° C with comparatively higher values of fracture toughness (Kc), and gross yielding leading to crack-blunting took place at 80° C. The fracture toughness of neat matrix and its composites were correlated with microstructural parameters. Incorporation of CaCo3 avoided the catastrophic failure of PP at −30° C while any of the fillers could avoid brittle failure at 25° C. Failure mechanisms were observed by scanning electron microscopy of the fractured surfaces. The performance of PP was significantly affected by the incorporation of fillers.


Fracture Surface Polypropylene Fracture Toughness Failure Mechanism CaCO3 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. F. Xavier
    • 1
  • J. M. Schultz
    • 1
  • K. Friedrich
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Composite MaterialsUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Polymer and Composites GroupTechnische Universität Hamburg - HarburgHamburg 90Germany

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