In the last decades, research on nanostructured materials as additives for plastics involved several polymeric matrices, but only limited studies and publications involve PVC. In this work, the context of rigid application of PVC (U-PVC) for pipes application was targeted, in order to test and evaluate the structural and functional role of different nanoadditives on the final properties of the materials. The goals of the study were focused on industrial needs and was carried on involving seven relevant PVC pipe producers in Italy within a 3-year study. To match the needs of producers and compounders, two conventional rigid U-PVC formulations for water distribution and sewage (see table 1) were modified with nanomaterials in variable amounts from 0.31 to 5 phr. Nanoadditives were selected considering their commercial availability in industrial quantities, and materials processing was based on pilot-scale machinery fully compliant with production plant equipments.
|Species:||Water pipe (phr):||Sewage pipe (phr):|
Table 1: U-PVC formulation – nanoadditives were chosen among layered inorganic materials, hybrid nanoparticles (Poss) and carbon nanotubes
The study highlights the capability of nanostructured additives to dramatically change the properties of polymeric matrices with added quantities lower than 2.5 phr. The most striking improvements were observed in the mechanical performances, where an enhancement in rigidity and a simultaneous increase in tensile strength and elongation (i.e. nanoreinforcement) were found. As well, tests related to thermal stability, gelification and internal stress were carried on and related to the composition.