Case study - Investigated at microscopy laboratory

A case study helps us to better understand and see how microscopy analysis can provide us with important material information.

Themroplastic materials have either a semi-crystalline or amorphous solid state structure. The crystallinity of PP can be significantly changed by the addition of nucleators.

  • Nucleation is used to modify the solidification, stiffness and/or optical performance of polypropylene (PP). The effect of various nucleators can be assessed by optical microscopy under polarised light as demonstrated with the images here to the left.
  • Chemical derivatives of benzoic acid like sodium benzoate is an effective nucleating agent. Other nucleating agents include minerals such as kaolin and talc. These additives offer degreased cycle times and increased output and profits. Clarifying agents are usually organic, non-polymeric molecules. All clarifying agents also act as nucleating agents, but nucleating agents are not necessarily clarifying agents. Most clarifiers on the market are chemical derivatives of dibenzylidene sorbitol (e.g. DMDBS).  
  • Beta nucletion of PP can produce improved physical performance.



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