In this study, the effects of irradiated polypropylene (PP) compatibilizer addition into PP matrix on the interfacial adhesion between the carbon fiber (CF) and PP matrix were investigated. Unirradiated and irradiated PPs were blended, and two types of carbon fibers; unsized (surface treated) and sized, were used for composites preparation. In order to characterize the physical and morphological properties of all CF reinforced composites prepared, tensile tests, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) were performed. The strong compatibilizing effects of irradiated PP on the mechanical properties of composites were noticed. It has been found that breaking strength values were increased up to 30%. The compatibilizing effect of irradiated PP was also confirmed with SEM micrographs and PALS. It has been seen that blending PP matrix with irradiated PP improved the interfacial adhesion between the carbon fiber and matrix materials. The melting point temperatures of composites were not changed significantly for all composites. The results showed that irradiated PP as a compatibilizer together with unsized carbon fiber in place of sized carbon fiber can be used in order to improve the mechanical properties of carbon fiber reinforced PP composites. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.