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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 194543, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/194543
Research Article

Polypropylene Nanocomposites Obtained by In Situ Polymerization Using Metallocene Catalyst: Influence of the Nanoparticles on the Final Polymer Morphology

1Grupo Polímeros, Facultad de Química y Biología, Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH), Casilla 40, Correo 33, Santiago 9170022, Chile
2Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Biotecnología, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Received 2 February 2012; Accepted 16 March 2012

Academic Editor: Sevan P. Davtyan

Copyright © 2012 Paula Zapata and Raúl Quijada. 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

Polypropylene nanocomposites containing silica nanospheres based on the sol-gel methods were produced via in situ polymerization using a rac-Et(Ind)2ZrCl2/methylaluminoxane (MAO) system. Two different routes were used depending on the interaction between the silica nanoparticles with the catalytic system. In route 1 the nanoparticles were added together with the catalytic system (rac-Et(Ind)2ZrCl2)/(MAO) directly into the reactor, and in route 2 the metallocene rac-Et(Ind)2ZrCl2 was supported on silica nanospheres pretreated with (MAO). SEM images show that when the nanospheres were added by both routes, they were replicated in the final polymer particle morphology; this phenomenon was more pronounced for PP obtained by route 2. The polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites obtained by both routes had a slightly higher percent crystallinities and crystallinity temperatures than pure PP. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images show that the nanospheres were well dispersed into the polypropylene matrix, particularly in the nanocomposites obtained by the support system (route 2).