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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 406214, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/406214
Research Article

Nucleating Effect of Carbon Nanoparticles and Their Influence on the Thermal and Chemical Stability of Polypropylene

1Departamento de Polímeros, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas (FCQ), Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila (UAdeC), Avenida V. Carranza S.N., 25000 Saltillo, COAH, Mexico
2Departamento de Procesamiento de Polímeros, Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada (CIQA), Bulevar, Enrique Reyna 140, 25253 Saltillo, COAH, Mexico
3Departamento de Materiales, CIATEC, A.C. Omega 201, Fracc. Delta, 37545 León, GTO, Mexico

Received 28 May 2012; Revised 12 September 2012; Accepted 17 September 2012

Academic Editor: Theodorian Borca-Tasciuc

Copyright © 2012 F. Avalos-Belmontes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effect of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the thermal and chemical stability of polypropylene (PP) when subjected to oxidation in a strong acid medium was studied. The effect of CNFs and CNTs on the crystalline morphology and the melting and crystallization temperatures was also studied. The thermal stability increased markedly; the decomposition temperature, for example, increased from 293C for pure PP to 312 and 320C for PP with CNFs and CNTs, respectively. The crystallization temperature increased perceptibly with the addition of CNTs or CNFs, from 107C for pure PP to 112 and 114C for PP with CNFs and CNTs, respectively. The oxidative degradation with nitric acid produced a reduction in molecular weight; however, this negative effect was less pronounced in the PP compositions with carbon nanoparticles. After 8 hours in nitric acid, this reduction was from 141,000 to 68,000 (for pure PP), to 75,000 (for PP-CNFs), and 79,500 (for PP-CNTs). X-ray diffraction showed that the alpha type crystallinity remains, irrespective of the nucleating agent. Finally, the intensity ratio between the (040) (at 16.7) and the (110) (at 13.9) reflections increased, which was taken as an indication of an increasing nucleating efficiency.