The abrasive wear behaviour of mineral-filled polypropylene

Doctoral Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

Polypropylene is an extremely versatile polymer because its properties can be modified to meet specific requirements. The use of polypropylene in domestic and automobile applications has initiated research focused on the tribological behaviour of the material. In the present study, polypropylene grades have been subjected to both mild and severe abrasive wear conditions with specific emphasis on the surface property of scratch resistance. The experimental work has covered the effect of polymer crystallinity, mineral fillers, and the nature of the abrasive counterface on the wear behaviour of polypropylene. The wear behaviours of polymethylmethacrylate, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, and high density polyethylene have been determined for comparative purposes. The abrasive wear rates have been measured and the material deformation and removal mechanisms have been identified and characterised in terms of the physical properties of the polymer and the individual fillers, and in terms of the macroscopic mechanical behaviour of the filled composite materials. Investigative techniques used in this study included mechanical testing, optical and scanning electron microscopy, surface profilometry, and differential scanning calorimetry. Under two-body abrasive wear conditions, the unfilled and modified polypropylene materials exhibit a ductile mode of material deformation and removal.

Bibliography: leaves 170-179.