Significant and Concurrent Enhancement of Stiffness, Strength, and Toughness for Paraffin Wax Through Organoclay Addition


  • This work was financially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FC36-04GO14309). The authors thank Mark D. Calhoun for help in preparing and tensile testing of composite samples and Prof. Phillip H. Geil at the University of Illinois for useful discussions on the structures of the nanocomposites.


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Paraffin–clay nanocomposites prepared by ultrasonic processing demonstrate a significant increase in both Young's modulus and tensile strength relative to the matrix (see figure), and a dramatic increase in elongation at break. This combination of increased stiffness, strength, and ductility has not been previously reported for nanocomposite structures produced with molecular matrices.