Preparation and characterization of polypropylene/wood flour/nanoclay composites
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In this study, the effects of coupling agent and nanoclay loading on the mechanical properties and water absorption of composites are investigated. Composites based on polypropylene (PP), wood flour, nanoclay, and maleated polypropylene (MAPP) were made by melt compounding and then injection molding. The mechanical analysis showed that the biggest improvement of the tensile and flexural strengths can be achieved for the nanoclay loading at 3%. However, further increasing of the loading of nanoclay resulted in a decrease of all the mechanical properties. The maximum tensile and flexural strengths (increase of ∼46%, compared to the pure PP) were achieved in the composites when 7.5% MAPP was used as coupling agent in the manufacture of the composites. Finally, it was found that addition of nanoclay or MAPP reduced the water absorption property of the composites. However, the extent of improvement in the water absorption is more prominent with MAPP.