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Polymers 2017, 9(3), 110; doi:10.3390/polym9030110

Preparation of Microporous Polypropylene/Titanium Dioxide Composite Membranes with Enhanced Electrolyte Uptake Capability via Melt Extruding and Stretching

1
State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2
CREPEC, Chemical Engineering Department, Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal, QC H3C 3A7, Canada
3
The State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering, Polymer Research Institute of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wei Min Huang
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract

In this work, a blending strategy based on compounding the hydrophilic titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles with the host polypropylene (PP) pellets, followed by the common membrane manufacture process of melt extruding/annealing/stretching, was used to improve the polarity and thus electrolyte uptake capability of the PP-based microporous membranes. The influence of the TiO2 particles on the crystallinity and crystalline orientation of the PP matrix was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and infrared dichroic methods. The results showed that the TiO2 incorporation has little influence on the oriented lamellar structure of the PP-based composite films. Investigations of the deformation behavior indicated that both the lamellar separation and interfacial debonding occurred when the PP/TiO2 composite films were subjected to uniaxial tensile stress. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations verified that two forms of micropores were generated in the stretched PP/TiO2 composite membranes. Compared to the virgin PP membrane, the PP/TiO2 composite membranes especially at high TiO2 loadings showed significant improvements in terms of water vapor permeability, polarity, and electrolyte uptake capability. The electrolyte uptake of the PP/TiO2 composite membrane with 40 wt % TiO2 was 104%, which had almost doubled compared with that of the virgin PP membrane. View Full-Text
Keywords: polypropylene; microporous membrane; titanium dioxide; lamellar orientation; stretching; electrolyte uptake polypropylene; microporous membrane; titanium dioxide; lamellar orientation; stretching; electrolyte uptake
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, S.; Ajji, A.; Guo, S.; Xiong, C. Preparation of Microporous Polypropylene/Titanium Dioxide Composite Membranes with Enhanced Electrolyte Uptake Capability via Melt Extruding and Stretching. Polymers 2017, 9, 110.

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