Carotenuto, G.4; De Nicola, S.5; Palomba, M.4; Pullini, D.6; Horsewell, A.1; Hansen, Thomas Willum3; Nicolais, L.7
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Materials and Surface Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 Center for Electron Nanoscopy, Technical University of Denmark4 National Research Council of Italy5 Istituto Nazionale di Ottica6 Fiat Research Centre Scpa7 University of Naples Federico II
The mechanical properties of GNP/LDPE nanocomposites (graphite nanoplatelets/low density polyethylene) have been investigated, in order to establish the effect of nanoscale reinforcement within the polymer matrix. Results show that the presence of the filler does not involve a change in the microscopic structure of the polymer. However, on a macroscopic scale, GNPs limit the mobility of the polymer chains, resulting in an increase in stiffness for the final composite. Orientation of GNPs within the LDPE matrix is also an important issue that affects mechanical properties and it has been evaluated by testing nanocomposites made by different manufacturing techniques (compression moulding and blown extrusion). The comparison between the experimental data and the Halpin–Tsai model shows that the orientation of GNPs due to the extrusion process leads to values of tensile modulus higher than that obtained with the randomly oriented disposition resulting from the compression moulding technique.