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Keywords:

  • nanocomposites;
  • polyesters;
  • polymer blends;
  • renewable resources;
  • resins

Abstract

Mesua ferrea L. seed oil based highly branched polyester and epoxy resins blends were prepared by mechanical mixing at different weight ratios. The best performing blend was used as the matrix for the preparation of nanocomposites with different dose levels of organophilic montmorillonite (OMMT) nanoclay. The prepared nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Data resulting from the mechanical and thermal studies of the blends and nanocomposites indicated improvements in the tensile strength and thermal stability to appreciable extents for the nanocomposites with OMMT loading. The nanocomposites were characterized as well-dispersed, partially exfoliated structures with good interfacial interactions. From the X-ray diffraction analysis, the absence of d001 reflections of the OMMT clay in the cured nanocomposites indicated the development of an exfoliated clay structure, which was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. The homogeneous morphologies of the pure polyester/epoxy blend and clay hybrid systems were ascertained with scanning electron microscopy. The tensile strength of the 5 wt % clay-filled blend nanocomposite system was increased by 2.4 times compared to that of the pure blend resin system. The results suggest that the prepared nanocomposites have the potential to be used as active thin films for different applications. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011