Water absorption and hygrothermal aging study on organomontmorillonite reinforced 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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  • A. Abu Bakar,

    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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Abstract

The water absorption and hygrothermal aging behavior of organomontmorillonite (OMMT) reinforced polyamide 6/polypropylene (PA6/PP ratio = 70/30), with and without maleated PP (MAH-g-PP), was studied at three different temperatures (30, 60, and 90°C). The water absorption and hygrothermal aging response of the composites was studied and analyzed by tensile tests and morphology assessment (scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy), indicating the effect of the immersion temperature, OMMT, and MAH-g-PP compatibilizer. The mathematical treatment used in analyzing the data was the single free phase model of diffusion, which assumed Fickian diffusion and utilized Fick's second law of diffusion. The kinetics of water absorption of the PA6/PP nanocomposites conformed to Fickian law behavior, whereby the initial moisture absorption follows a linear relationship between the percentage gain at any time t and t1/2 (the square root of time), followed by saturation. It was found that the equilibrium moisture content and the diffusion coefficient are dependent on the OMMT loading, MAH-g-PP concentration, and immersion temperatures. Both the tensile modulus and strength of the PA6/PP nanocomposites deteriorated after being exposed to hygrothermal aging. MAH-g-PP acted as a good compatibilizer for PA6/PP/OMMT nanocomposites, which was attributed to its higher retention ability in modulus and strength (in the wet and redried states), lower equilibrium moisture content, and reduced water diffusivity of the nanocomposites. Morphological sketches for both uncompatibilized and MAH-g-PP compatibilized PA6/PP/OMMT nanocomposites, toward water uptake are proposed. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 98: 780–790, 2005

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