• clay;
  • thermal properties;
  • rubber


The aim of this work was to study the effect of different organomontmorillonite on the structure and properties of room-temperature vulcanized silicone rubber (RTV) composites. Quaternary ammonium salts (QAS) and hyperbranched QAS were used as intercalation agents to treat Na+-montmorillonite and formed two kinds of organomontmorillonite, OMMT and HOMMT. OMMT/RTV and HOMMT/RTV composites were prepared using these organomodified silicate layers. Properties such as tensile strength, elongation at break, swelling behavior, and thermal stability were researched and compared. The addition of OMMT and HOMMT improved the mechanical properties of RTV composites. The composites with 3 mass % HOMMT showed the highest tensile strength and elongation at break, 5.4 MPa and 425%, which was 29 and 97% higher than that of pure RTV. The RTV composites exhibited excellent thermal stability and swelling behavior. At loading of 3 mass % of HOMMT, Tonset, and Tmax was 452 and 640°C, respectively, 33 and 150°C higher than that of pure RTV. A combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD) test, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies was used to characterize the structure and reinforcing mechanism of these clays. The diffraction peaks in XRD curves were almost absent in the scattering curve of RTV/HOMMT (3 mass %). This was due to the possibility of having exfoliated silicate layers dispersed in the polymer matrix. A careful observation of an area of platelet tactoid of 3% HOMMT filled composite in SEM and TEM revealed the uniform dispersion of the silicate layers in the composites. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013