SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • nanoclay;
  • nanocomposites;
  • thermoset;
  • shearing effect;
  • high speed;
  • dispersion;
  • intercalation and exfoliation;
  • model for dispersion

Abstract

As shear premixing is an important process for the dispersion of nanoclays in polymeric resins, this article studies the effect of temperature, duration, speed of premixing, and also the interlamellar spacing of clay platelets on the dispersion of organoclay in epoxy by using a high speed premixing technique which can generate high shear. The quality of dispersion and intercalation/exfoliation of organoclay in epoxy after premixing (before adding hardener) was analyzed by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and rheological measurement. The dispersion and intercalation/exfoliation of organoclay in the epoxy nanocomposites (ENCs) after curing were characterized by TEM. The results illustrate that the intercalation/exfoliation of organoclay in epoxy at the premixing step is very much depending on the premixing parameters. This article also presents a model which takes into account the parameters such as the interlamellar spacing of clay platelets, the viscosity of the epoxy-clay mixtures, and the velocity of the mixer to explain their effect on the dispersion of clay in epoxy resin. The study focuses on the flow of epoxy clay in the high shear mixer to describe a model for predicting the processing conditions necessary for achieving delamination of the clay layers. Experimental results on the dispersion of clay are also provided to validate the model. The model provides a guide for the premixing parameters necessary to separate the clay layers. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011