Effect of modified layered silicates on the confined crystalline morphology and thermomechanical properties of poly(ethylene oxide) nanocomposites



In this work, poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)/organoclay nanocomposites with three different types of nanoclays (Cloisite 30B, Somasif JAD400, and Somasif JAD230) were prepared by melt mixing with a laboratory kneader followed by compression molding. The nanocomposites were characterized by atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Their crystallization behavior on a hot stage was investigated with polarized optical microscopy. The size and regularity of the spherulites of the PEO matrix were altered significantly by the incorporation of Cloisite 30B, but there was not as much variation with the other two clays. The dynamic viscoelastic behavior of the PEO/organoclay nanocomposites was assessed with a strain-controlled parallel-plate rheometer. The effects of clay modification on the thermomechanical and rheological properties were addressed. The reinforcing effect of the organoclay was determined with dynamic mechanical analysis and tensile testing. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010