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The effect of organoclay on the mechanical properties and morphology of injection-molded polyamide 6/polypropylene nanocomposites

Authors

  • W. S. Chow,

    1. School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
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  • Z. A. Mohd. Ishak,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
    • School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
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  • U. S. Ishiaku,

    1. Advanced Fibro-Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan
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  • J. Karger-Kocsis,

    1. Institute for Composite Materials Ltd., University of Kaiserslautern, P.O. Box 3049, D-67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
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  • A. A. Apostolov

    1. Laboratory on Structure and Properties of Polymers, Sofia University, BG-1126 Sofia, Bulgaria
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Abstract

Nanocomposites containing a thermoplastic blend and organophilic layered clay (organoclay) were produced by melt compounding. The blend composition was kept constant [polyamide 6 (PA6) 70 wt % + polypropylene (PP) 30 wt %], whereas the organoclay content was varied between 0 and 10 wt %. The mechanical properties of the nanocomposites were determined on injection-molded specimens in both tensile and flexural loading. Highest strength values were observed at an organoclay content of 4 wt % for the blends. The flexural strength was superior to the tensile one, which was traced to the effect of the molding-induced skin-core structure. Increasing organoclay amount resulted in severe material embrittlement reflected in a drop of both strength and strain values. The morphology of the nanocomposites was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersion X-ray analysis (EDX), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). It was established that the organoclay is well dispersed (exfoliated) and preferentially embedded in the PA6 phase. Further, the exfoliation degree of the organoclay decreased with increasing organoclay content. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 91: 175–189, 2004

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