ABSTRACT: A study of the improvement of the mechanical and thermal properties of nanocomposites prepared with polypropylene (PP) and different graphene samples [graphene oxide (GO), reduced GO (RGO), and commercial graphene (G)] is presented. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy characterization were applied to the graphene samples. The nanocomposites were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis, XRD, differential scanning calorimetry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), tensile, and impact resistance tests. PP/RGO nanocomposites showed significant improvement in mechanical and thermal properties. Sample PP/RGO- 0.75 resulted in an increment in Young’s modulus (51%), tensile strength (24%), and elongation at break (15%). This is attributed to a good dispersion state, a higher crystallinity percentage, and a good interfacial adhesion between PP and RGO. Sample PP/RGO-0.50 exhibited an increase of 197oC in the temperature at which a loss in weight of 5% occurred, compared to that for pure PP. The height of stacked layers calculated by XRD measurements was similar to the value observed by TEM. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2020, 137, 48258.
KEYWORDS: graphene and fullerenes; mechanical properties; nanotubes; structure–property relationships; thermal properties