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Keywords:

  • membranes;
  • nanocomposites;
  • nylon;
  • X-ray

Abstract

Microporous membranes were synthesized from a polymer nanocomposite material, intercalated montmorillonite clay/nylon 6, by an immersion–precipitation method in a water bath. This membrane was skinless and was composed of cellular pores and sheaflike crystallites, which were interwoven into a bicontinuous structure. In contrast, pure nylon 6, precipitated under the same conditions, yielded a skinned asymmetric membrane. The X-ray diffraction patterns showed that the nanocomposites and the membranes exhibited exfoliated structures. By differential scanning calorimetry, it was observed that the clay probably acted as a reinforcing filler, increasing the crystallinity degree of the nanocomposites, but it was practically unchanged in the membranes. Through photomicrographs obtained by scanning electron microscopy, it was possible to verify that all the membranes exhibited an asymmetric morphology with a well-defined porous structure and a tight skin with a cellular sublayer. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009