Detailed analysis on thermal, microstructural, mechanical, and morphological features of side chain liquid crystalline polymer/isotactic polypropylene graft copolymers: Effect of grafted and ungrafted polymer units
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The main scope of this comprehensive study is to investigate the effects of poly(p-benzophenoneoxycarbonylphenyl acrylate), poly(BPOCPA), which presenting as only graft units or both graft and ungrafted units in the matrix, on the fundamental features of isotactic polypropylene (IPP). The graft copolymerization of BPOCPA onto IPP was performed with the aid of bulk melt polymerization at varying monomer content levels ranging from 5% to 40%. The thermal behavior, crystal quality, mechanical performance, and surface morphology of the samples were investigated by means of differential scanning calorimeter, X-ray diffractometer (XRD), universal mechanical test, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) techniques. Thermal analyses depicted that there existed the noteworthy enhancements in both crystalline melting temperatures and percent crystallinities of matrix polymers. Furthermore, according to XRD results, a and b parameters increased significantly at low percentages of the graft units, while the parameter c decreased in all products in consistence with the content. As for the mechanical characterization, the grafting led to remarkable improvements in modulus, tensile and impact strength of the products. SEM micrographs indicated that the samples were completely homogeneous without any phase separation and the products exhibited brittle nature with some ductility.