Room temperature processing of epoxy-clay nanocomposites
Polymer/Clay nanocomposites consisting of an epoxy matrix filled with nanolayered silicate clay particles have been investigated. Recent and ongoing research has shown that dramatic enhancements can be achieved in mechanical and thermal properties by adding a small volume percent of clays. In the present work nanocomposites are processed by mechanical mixing of epoxy with organoclays and unmodified clays using a high speed electric shear mixer at room temperature. The addition of different organoclay wt% [1–3, 5 and 10] indicates good enhancement in hardness, dynamic mechanical properties, and also the molecular mobility of the polymer is reduced by the presence of the silicate layers, which in turn causes large stiffness improvements. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show the intercalation/exfoliation of clays in the epoxy matrix. The influence of organoclay restricts the weight loss at varying temperatures. Experiments show improved elastic modulus for both modified and unmodified clays.
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