On the effect of montmorillonite in the curing reaction of epoxy nanocomposites
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The procedure for the fabrication of epoxy-based polymer layered silicate nanocomposites is important in respect of the nanostructure that is developed. To further our understanding of this, the influence of an organically modified clay (montmorillonite, MMT) on the curing kinetics of an epoxy resin has been studied by differential scanning calorimetry. Clay loadings of 10 and 20 mass% are used, and isothermal as well as dynamic cures have been investigated. For both cure schedules the effect of the MMT is to advance the reaction. Kinetic analysis yields values for the activation energy, but shows that the reaction cannot be described simply by the usual autocatalytic equation. The glass transition of the cured nanocomposites is lower than that for the cured neat resin, a result that is attributed to homopolymerisation taking place in addition to the epoxy–amine reaction.
Keywordscure kinetics DSC glass transition montmorillonite nanocomposite
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