Designing of fullers-earth-containing poly(vinyl alcohol)-g-poly(2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid) nanocomposites: Swelling and deswelling behaviors



In this study, polymer–clay nanocomposites (PCNs) composed of poly(vinyl alcohol)s (PVAs), poly(2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid), and fullers earth were prepared by the effective dispersal of inorganic nanoclays in the organic PVA matrix via in situ free-radical polymerization with potassium persulfate as an initiator and N,N-methylene bisacrylamide as a crosslinker. The monomer, 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid, was grafted onto the PVA backbone, and at the same time, fullers earth layers were intercalated and exfoliated into the grafted copolymer, especially at a low or moderate loading of the fullers earth. The synthesized PCN materials were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and wide-angle X-ray diffraction techniques. The morphological features of the synthesized materials were studied by scanning electron microscopy; this revealed that the swelling ratio of this nanocomposite increased with increasing fullers earth content. The X-ray diffraction results indicated that the fullers earth was exfoliated in the nanocomposite matrix, and its introduction into the polymer matrix enhanced the percentage crystallinity of the polymer. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010