Online ultrasonic film casting of LLDPE and LLDPE/clay nanocomposites

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Abstract

Transparent cast films of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) with nanoclay up to 10 wt % were prepared in one step process using an ultrasonically assisted compounding extruder operating at various ultrasonic amplitudes combined with film casting machine operating at various take up speeds. Thermal, rheological, morphological, and mechanical properties and gas permeability of these films were studied. Ultrasonic treatment introduced an increase in the complex viscosity and storage modulus and a reduction in the tangent loss of LLDPE/clay nanocomposite melts. Cast films prepared by ultrasonic treatment at an amplitude of 7.5 μm showed the highest mechanical properties in both the machine and transverse directions and the lowest oxygen permeability. X-ray diffraction patterns along with the SEM and TEM images revealed the presence of the exfoliated structure due to the ultrasonic treatment for cast films containing up to 7.5 wt % of clay loading. NMR studies of LLDPE cast films showed an increase of branching due to the ultrasound treatment. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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