A comparative study of the development of nitrile rubber (NBR) based nanocomposites was performed; two organomontmorillonites (Cloisite 15A and Cloisite 30B) and two procedures for clay dispersion (melt blending and solution intercalation) were used. The nanocomposites were cured with a system based on dicumyl peroxide in the presence of m-phenylenebismaleimide as a coagent for curing. The dispersion of the organoclay inside the NBR matrix was investigated with transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. All the cured systems displayed a combination of intercalated, partially exfoliated clay platelets and confined, deintercalated clay; the degree of dispersion depended on the amount of clay, the type of intercalant, and the intercalation procedure. The highest amount of intercalated/exfoliated clay was obtained with a previous dispersion of the clay (Cloisite 30B) in an NBR solution. All the nanocomposites presented outstanding tensile strength and creep response, and this indicated a reinforcing effect of the layered silicates. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011
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