• gas barrier properties;
  • LDPE;
  • LLDPE;
  • montmorillonite;
  • nanocomposites


Summary: This study intends to replace polyethylene multi-layer films used in food packaging industry with single-layer polyethylene nanocomposites films. Nanocomposites of LDPE/LLDPE/ montmorillonite organoclay were prepared by melt compounding in a twin extruder and then film blown to prepare thin films. LLDPE-g-MA was used as compatibilizer to achieve better interaction between the blend and organoclay. Various compositions of organoclay and compatibilizer were prepared. The structure of nanocomposites was characterized by XRD and TEM. Permeability properties were measured using a permeability measuring set-up and aspect ratio of the particles was evaluated using permeability data. The results showed that addition of organoclay even at low level (below 5 phr) had significant effect on barrier properties of the nanocomposites. Oxygen permeability decreased by 50% by adding only 3 phr of nanoclay into the blend. Crystalline structure of the nanocomposites was studied by DSC. Addition of clay also led to increase in melting point and somewhat decrease in the crystalline level. Given the fact that crystals are effectively non-permeable, the concomitant reduction in crystallinity of the blend with decrease in permeability suggests that barrier properties arise from tortuousity of nanoparticles in the blend.