In this work, the authors aimed to provide an overview about the thermal conductivity of polypropylene, of its related compounds and the main methods of measurement. The growing spread of polypropylene in the industrial world together with the increasing demand of thermally conductive plastics represented the driving force of studying the heat transport in the polypropylene, and of recent progress and development of the thermal conduction in polypropylene-based materials. At regard, the common approach has been devoted to fill the polymer with thermally conductive materials: metallic, carbon based, ceramic and mineral fillers have been taken into account depending on the need to preserve electrical insulation, lightweight, production increasing or cost saving in the final compositions. Different parameters have been considered in order to optimize the ultimate thermal performances in the realized composites: (i) filler dispersion, (ii) filler/matrix and filler/filler interactions. The introduction of functional groups on the filler surface or in the polymer chain has been tested for acting on the dispersion and on the interfacial interaction. Then, hybrid materials, consisting in two particles different in size and shape combined with the attempt to realize a synergistic effect and to support a conductive network in the matrix, have been investigated.
Part of the book: Polypropylene