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Research Article Open Access
Layered silicate/polymer nanocomposites are materials that display rather unique properties, even at low silicate content, by comparison with more conventional particulate-filled polymers. These nanocomposites exhibit improved mechanical, thermal, optical, gas permeability resistance and fire retardancy properties when compared with the pure polymer. In this study, layered silicate/polymer nanocomposites were prepared using Na+ cation containing montmorillonite (MMT) and epoxy resins. Silicate particles were treated with hexadecyltrimethylammonium chloride (HTAC) to obtain the complete homogenous dispersion of the nano plaques within the polymer matrix which forms the exfoliated microstructure. In this way, organophilic silicates (OMMT) were obtained. Modification of the silicate expands the silicate galleries (from 14 Å to 18 Å) that promote the formation of exfoliated composite structure. SEM results showed that nanocomposites with organically modified MMT exhibited better dispersion than those with MMT. It was found that the tensile and flexural modulus values are increased, whereas the fracture toughness is decreased with increasing silicate content. Thermal analysis results revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the neat epoxy resin (63.6oC) increases to 68.9 oC for the nanocomposites with 3 wt. % of OMMT. By incorporation of silicate particles, the dynamic mechanical properties of epoxy; including the storage and loss modulus and Tg are increased. Optical transmission values of the epoxy were affected by MMT and OMMT silicate incorporation. It was found that flame resistance at the polymer improved by the incorporation of MMT particles to the neat epoxy .
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Author(s): S Satapathy G C Mohanty and P L Nayak
MMT, DSC, Tensile, Layer silicate/Epoxy, XRD , Nanocomposite., Nanocomposite