Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Particle emission measurements in three scenarios of mechanical degradation of polypropylene-nanoclay nanocomposites.

Blazquez, Mar�a; Marchante, Ver�nica; Gendre, Laura; Starost, Kristof; Njuguna, James; Schutz, Jurg A.; Lacave, Jos� Mar�a; Egizabal, Ainhoa; Elizetxea, Cristina; Cajaraville, Miren P.


Mar�a Blazquez

Ver�nica Marchante

Laura Gendre

Kristof Starost

Jurg A. Schutz

Jos� Mar�a Lacave

Ainhoa Egizabal

Cristina Elizetxea

Miren P. Cajaraville


Researchers and legislators have both claimed the necessity to standardize the exposure assessment of polymer nanocomposites throughout their life cycle. In the present study we have developed and compared three different and independent operational protocols to investigate changes in particle emission behavior of mechanically degraded polypropylene (PP) samples containing different fillers, including talc and two types of nanoclays (wollastonite-WO- and montmorillonite-MMT-) relative to not reinforced PP. Our results have shown that the mechanical degradation of PP, PP-Talc, PP-WO and PP-MMT samples causes the release of nano-sized particles. However, the three protocols investigated, simulating industrial milling and drilling and household drilling, have produced different figures for particles generated. Results suggest that it is not possible to describe the effects of adding nano-sized modifiers to PP by a single trend that applies consistently across all different protocols. Differences observed might be attributed to a variety of causes, including the specific operational parameters selected for sample degradation and the instrumentation used for airborne particle release characterization. In particular, a streamlined approach for future assessments providing a measure for released particles as a function of the quantity of removed material would seem useful, which can provide a reference benchmark for the variations in the number of particles emitted across a wider range of different mechanical processes.


BLAZQUEZ, M., MARCHANTE, V., GENDRE, L., STAROST, K., NJUGUNA, J., SCHUTZ, J.A., LACAVE, J.M., EGIZABAL, A., ELIZETXEA, C. and CAJARAVILLE, M.P. 2020. Particle emission measurements in three scenarios of mechanical degradation of polypropylene-nanoclay nanocomposites. Journal of aerosol science [online], 150, article ID 105629. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 14, 2020
Publication Date Dec 31, 2020
Deposit Date Aug 24, 2020
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2020
Journal Journal of aerosol science
Print ISSN 0021-8502
Electronic ISSN 1879-1964
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 150
Article Number 105629
Keywords Polymer nanocomposite; Nanoclays; Mechanical degradation; Particle emission; Exposure assessment
Public URL