Nanoclay dispersion in a miscible blend: an assessment through rheological analysis
In this study, miscible polymer blend nanocomposite of Poly(ethylene oxide)/Poly(methyl methacrylate), (PEO/PMMA), with sodium montmorillonite (Na+-MMT) clay were prepared at a constant concentration of nanoparticles via different solution intercalation methods. The resultant nanocomposites possess different structure and dispersion of Na+-MMT clays which are assessed through a combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The rheology of the neat blend and two different layered silicate nanocomposites were investigated using linear viscoelastic measurements with a parallel plate rheometry at small strain amplitudes. It was found that regardless of the extent of dispersion, the storage and loss modulus increased by incorporating the nanoparticles into the matrix of PEO/PMMA. Moreover, at low frequencies the rheological response of the nanocomposite in which layered silicates benefit from a better dispersion becomes relatively invariant with frequency and represents a mediocre solid-like behavior in comparison to the nanocomposite in which the nanoparticles are intercalated or agglomerated.
KeywordsPoly(ethylene oxide)/Poly(methyl methacrylate) Rheology Nanoclay Dispersion Visco-elastic behavior
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