Study of the Effect of Interface Enthalpy on Nanocomposite Viscoelasticity
Polymer Nanocomposites (PNC) are a fascinating category of material systems, in which nanoscopic fillers are found to induce remarkable improvements in the properties of the polymeric matrix. This improvement is often determined by the interfacial energetic interactions which dictate the matrix chain mobility, filler dispersion, and distribution. The PNC community has widely studied the glass transition temperature (Tg) with emphasis laid primarily on the effects of confinement on the matrix polymer.[2, 3, 4] Dispersion/flocculation has also received attention in the elastomeric nanocomposite community in relation to the wetting behavior of fillers.  A consolidated view of both these phenomena is yet to be presented in terms of the interfacial energetics. In this study we investigate bare or short chain silane modified filler systems, in which enthalpic effects dominate. This is a first step towards understanding the effect of surface energetics on the thermomechanical properties of PNCs, such as the Tg and viscoelasticity. We subsequently seek to develop a predictive model for the same invoking an informatics based approach , which employs Materials Quantitative Structure-Property Relationships (MQSPR) coupled with a Finite Element Method, to link disparate length scales, reducing the need for detailed calculations.
KeywordsDynamic Mechanical Analysis Thermomechanical Property Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Colloidal Silica Particle Static Contact Angle Measurement
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