Composites of a highly crystalline cellulosic microfibres with polypropylene (PP) as well as with maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAPP) were prepared by using 1,6-diisocyanatohexane (DIC) as a compatibilizing agent, their mechanical properties, morphologies, and thermal properties were investigated. Results show that the tensile strength and young's modulus of the composites improved intensively by using DIC. The enhancement is proposed to be due to stronger interfacial adhesion caused by the reduction of the polarity and hydrophilicity of cellulose fiber in PP-based composites, while much more chemically bound MAPP chains on cellulose fiber in MAPP-based composites. A maximum on tensile properties of the composite can be obtained by optimizing of the DIC content. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicates that the interfacial adhesion between cellulose fibers and PP or MAPP matrix was improved in DIC coupled composites. Furthermore, DIC yields also some effects on thermal dynamic mechanical properties, as well as melting and crystallization behavior of the composites. (c) 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
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