Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 178–181 | Cite as

Degradation of nylon-6/clay nanocomposites in NO x

  • J. S. Shelley
  • K. L. DeVries


Nylon-6 is an important engineering polymer that, in its fully spherulitic (bulk) form, has many applications in gears, rollers, and other long life cycle components. In 1993, Toyota commercialized a nylon-6/clay nanocomposite out of which it produced the timing belt cover for the Camry. Although these hybrid nanocomposites show significant improvements in their mechanical response characteristics, including yield strength and heat distortion temperature, little is known about the degradation of these properties due to environmental pollutants like NO x . Nylon-6 fibers are severely degraded by interaction with NO x and other pollutants, showing a strong synergy between applied load and environmental degradation. While the nanocomposites show a significant reduction in permeability of gases and water due to the incorporation of lamellar clay, their susceptibility to nondiffusional mechano-chemical degradation is unknown. The fracture toughness of these nylon-6/clay nanocomposites increases, not as a function of clay content, but as a function of the volume of nylon-6 polymer chains influenced by the clay lamellae surfaces. Both the clay and the constrained volume offer the nanocomposites some protection from the deleterious effects of NO x . The time-to-failure at a given stress intensity factor as a function of clay content and constrained volume is discussed along with fracture toughness of the materials.

Key Words

Nylon mechanical properties strength impact strength environmental degradation time dependence fracture toughness NOx constrained volume Nylon-6/clay hybrid nanocomposites delaminated hybrids 


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Shelley
    • 1
  • K. L. DeVries
    • 2
  1. 1.Air Force Research LaboratoryPropulsion Directorate AFRL/PRSE, Edwards AFB
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of UtahSalt Lake City

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