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Fabrication and characterization of HCl-treated clinoptilolite filled ethylene vinyl acetate composite films



As received and HCl treated Clinoptilolite (C)-ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) composites were prepared via the melt-mixing technique, and extruded through a single-screw extruder to obtain composite strips with an average thickness of 0.5 mm. The films were then characterized for their morphological, structural, thermal, and mechanical properties. Optical micrographs show that at higher C loading, the particles form large agglomerates, resulting in the formation of voids on the surface of the films. With increasing zeolite loading, the films become brittle, resulting in reduced Young's modulus. Acid treatment of the C tends to affect the crystal structure of the zeolite, resulting in poor tensile properties of the HCl-treated zeolite-filled EVA films. Addition of the zeolite also increased the crystallinity of the structure, acting as a nucleating agent in the EVA crystallization. Modeling of the tensile yield data with Pukanszky model indicate that there is poor interfacial adhesion between the polymer matrix and the filler particles. Thermal characterization studies showed that addition of the zeolites retarded the onset degradation temperature of EVA. However, degradation temperatures including Tmax and the final decomposed temperature were increased, suggesting improved thermal stability due to reduced inter-chain mobility in the composite materials as a result of increased zeolite loading. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013