Relationship between the structure and thermal properties of polypropylene/graphene nanoplatelets composites for different platelet-sizes

Ziwei Xu, Suihua He, Jingjing Zhang*, Shijun Huang, Anfu Chen, Xiaoling Fu, Peng Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites reinforced with different types of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) and their hybrid systems are prepared via melt extrusion. On the basis of experimental analysis and simulation, the factors of thermal property of the PP/GNPs nanocomposites, including GNPs size, weight fraction and proportion of various sizes, are systematically investigated. At high GNPs content (9,12 wt %), GNPs are widely distributed in PP matrix and the thermal paths are basically formed. The thermal conductivity of composites is determined by the size and thermal properties of GNPs. At low GNPs content (6 wt %), for single system, the larger diameter with moderate distribution would be more conducive to achieve the higher thermal conductivity, indicating the formation of thermal paths dramatically affects the thermal conductivity. For hybrid system, the PP filled with medium and small diameter GNPs obtains the highest thermal conductivity when the ratio of medium diameter GNPs to small diameter GNPs is 8:2, and is 23.8% higher than the single system of PP filled with small diameter GNPs. More precisely, the small diameter GNPs play a role in connecting the scattered medium diameter GNPs, as mass thermal paths are formed. This shows that the distribution state by combining the synergistic effect of various GNPs significantly affects the thermal conductivity of PP/GNPs nanocomposites. Moreover, a numerical simulation dealing with the synergistic effect of different GNPs, is developed on the thermal conductivity of GNPs-reinforced PP matrix. The heat flux images demonstrate the existence of synergistic effect between different sizes of GNPs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107826
Number of pages9
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Early online date14 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2019


  • Graphene nanoplatelets
  • Numerical simulation
  • Polymer nanocomposites
  • Synergistic effect
  • Thermal conductivity


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