Study of the effect of the incorporation of TiO2 nanotubes on the mechanical and photodegradation properties of polyethylenes

Andres Zenteno, Ingo Lieberwirth, Fernando Catalina, Teresa Corrales, Sichem Guerrero, Diego A. Vasco, Paula A. Zapata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


TiO2 nanotubes (TiO2-Ntbs) synthesized by a hydrothermal method with a diameter of ca. 5 nm were used as filler to prepare polyethylene (PE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) composites by melt blending. Nanotubes were used either as synthesized or organically modified with hexadecyltrimethoxysilane (Mod-TiO2-Ntbs). In some cases nanoparticles form secondary structures with sizes around 100 nm and agglomerates larger than 2 μm are also seen by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In terms of mechanical properties, the addition of TiO2-Ntbs resulted in a composite, LLDPE/TiO2-Ntbs, with improved properties. Compared with the pure polymer, Young's modulus increased by ca. 50%, while yield stress increased by ca. 35%. On the other hand, PE/Mod-TiO2-Ntbs and LLDPE/Mod-TiO2-Ntbs with 5 wt% filler loading showed higher E′ values in the storage modulus at low temperatures than either neat PE and LLDPE. The photodegradation properties of the PE/Mod-TiO2-Ntbs and LLDPE/Mod-TiO2-Ntbs composites were studied. The largest increase of chemiluminescence emission (CL) and carbonyl index (CI) was found for LLDPE/Mod-TiO2-Ntbs during photoaging. That behavior may be due to large branching of the polymer, and to the presence of the nanotubes incorporated into the LLDPE, which promoted and accelerated its photodegradation due to reactive species generated during irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. P.A. Zapata acknowledges the financial support provided by Project DICYT, c?digo 051641ZR_DAS, Vicerrectoria de Investigaci?n, Desarrollo e Innovaci?n Universidad de Santiago de Chile. Also Proyecto MAT2012-31709 of the Ministerio de Econom?a y Competitividad, Madrid, Spain, is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Dynamic properties
  • Mechanical properties
  • Particle-reinforcement
  • Photodegradation
  • Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)


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