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Keywords:

  • poly(ethylene 2,6-naphthalate) (PEN);
  • nanoparticles;
  • mechanical properties;
  • composites;
  • silicas

Abstract

The effect of stearic acid modification on the dispersity of silica nanoparticles and the adhesion between the filler and polymer matrix with stearic acid concentration were investigated. The wettability of silica nanoparticles was improved by the addition of stearic acid. The presence of adsorbed stearic acid on the surface of the silica nanoparticles reduced the interaction between silica nanoparticles, and reduced the size of agglomerates with increasing concentration. Silica nanoparticle–reinforced poly(ethylene 2,6-naphthalate) (PEN) composites were melt-blended to investigate their mechanical properties and the processability of the composites. The torque and total torque values of the composites decreased with increasing silica nanoparticle content. The tensile moduli of the composites reinforced with unmodified silica nanoparticles increased with increasing silica content, whereas the tensile strength and elongation decreased. However, the stearic acid–modified silica nanoparticle–reinforced PEN composites exhibited increased elongation and decreased tensile moduli with increasing content because stearic acid, which adsorbs onto the surface of the silica nanoparticles in layers thicker than a monolayer, acts as a plasticizer during the melt-compounding stage. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 94: 812–818, 2004