• hybrid latexes;
  • clay;
  • miniemulsion polymerization;
  • nanocomposites;
  • colloids


The influence of granulometry and organic treatment of a Brazilian montmorillonite (MMT) clay on the synthesis and properties of poly(styrene-co-n-butyl acrylate)/layered silicate nanocomposites was studied. Hybrid latexes of poly(styrene-co-butyl acrylate)/MMT were synthesized via miniemulsion polymerization using either sodium or organically modified MMT. Five clay granulometries ranging from clay particles smaller than 75 μm to colloidal size were selected. The size of the clay particles was evaluated by specific surface area measurements (BET). Cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride was used as an organic modifier to enhance the clay compatibility with the monomer phase before polymerization and to improve the clay distribution and dispersion within the polymeric matrix after polymerization. The sodium and organically modified natural clays as well as the composites were characterized by X-ray diffraction analysis. The latexes were characterized by dynamic light scattering. The mechanical, thermal, and rheological properties of the composites obtained were characterized by dynamical-mechanical analysis, thermogravimetry, and small amplitude oscillatory shear tests, respectively. The results showed that smaller the size of the organically modified MMT, the higher the degree of exfoliation of nanoplatelets. Hybrid latexes in presence of Na-MMT resulted in materials with intercalated structures. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009