Data for: The incorporation of graphene to enhance mechanical properties of polypropylene self-reinforced polymer composites
Self-reinforced polymer composites (SPCs), also called “single polymer composites” or “all-polymer composites”, have attracted the attention of academia and industry because of the strong fiber/matrix adhesion, reduced weight, and enhanced recyclability. However, their mechanical properties are usually limited. The incorporation of nanoparticles to enhance the properties of SPCs has become an issue of concern. No study to date has investigated the incorporation of graphene into SPCs. The film stacking technology of SPCs and nanotechnology of graphene were combined to produce graphene-reinforced polypropylene (PP) SPCs with enhanced mechanical properties. The incorporation of a small number of graphene platelets (GNPs) to produce PP/GNPs SPCs has been presented. The small number of GNPs will not increase the cost a lot but can improve the processing as well as the mechanical performance of the final product. For PP/GNPs SPCs, the addition of only 0.062 wt% of GNPs resulted in an increase in the tensile strength and modulus of 117% and 116%, respectively, as compared with values of pure PP. Compared with PP SPCs without graphene, a 42% increase in the tensile strength was achieved. The improvement of mechanical properties of PP/GNPs SPCs is attributed to the high intrinsic mechanical properties of GNPs, the self-reinforced mechanism of PP SPCs, and the stronger interfacial adhesion between fibers due to the superior thermal conductivity of GNPs. The 116% increase in interfacial strength clearly proved the benefits of the incorporation of graphene in the preparation of SPCs.