Clay was modified by trimethylchlorosilane; after modification, hydroxyl groups at the edge of layers were reacted and CEC value was drastically decreased. Polyethylene–clay composites were prepared by melt compounding. Wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that intercalated nanocomposites were formed using organoclay ion-exchanged from chlorosilane-modified clay, but conventional composites formed using organoclay directly ion-exchanged from crude clay. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) of PE and PE–clay composites was conducted; the results demonstrated that nanocomposites were more effective than conventional composites in reinforcement and addition of organoclay resulted in the increase of glass transition temperature (Tg), but crude clay had no effect on Tg of PE–clay composites. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 93: 676–680, 2004
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