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Effect of the type of clay organo-modifier on the morphology, thermal/mechanical/impact/barrier properties and biodegradation in soil of polycaprolactone/clay nanocomposites

Authors

  • L. N. Ludueña,

    1. Research Institute of Material Science and Technology (INTEMA, UNMdP-CONICET), Composite Materials Group (CoMP) Engineering Faculty, National University of Mar del Plata, Juan B. Justo 4302 (B7608FDQ) Mar del Plata, Argentina
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  • A. Vázquez,

    1. Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (INTECIN, UBA-CONICET), Polymer and Composite Group, Engineering Faculty, University of Buenos Aires, Las Heras 2214 (1127AAR) Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • V. A. Alvarez

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Institute of Material Science and Technology (INTEMA, UNMdP-CONICET), Composite Materials Group (CoMP) Engineering Faculty, National University of Mar del Plata, Juan B. Justo 4302 (B7608FDQ) Mar del Plata, Argentina
    • Research Institute of Material Science and Technology (INTEMA), Composite Materials Group (CoMP) Engineering Faculty, National University of Mar del Plata, Juan B. Justo 4302 (B7608FDQ) Mar del Plata, Argentina
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Abstract

The effect of addition of unmodified (CNa+) and modified (C30B and C20A) montmorillonites on the performance of polycaprolactone (PCL) based nanocomposites prepared by melt intercalation was studied. The study covers morphological and thermal aspects, mechanical and barrier properties and also biodegradability, which are important for packaging applications. Particular effort was made to find the main characteristics of the clays responsible for the final clay dispersion degree inside the nanocomposite. The most hydrophobic reinforcement (demonstrated by water adsorption tests) also showed the strongest thermal stability (shown by thermogravimetrical analysis) and the larger basal spacing (calculated by X-ray diffractometry (XRD)), which were the main characteristics that led to the best clay dispersion degree inside the PCL matrix (demonstrated by XRD and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)). The findings demonstrate that a biodegradable polymer/clay nanocomposite with enhanced mechanical, impact, and barrier properties was obtained. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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