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Keywords:

  • halloysite nanotubes;
  • nanocomposite;
  • controlled release;
  • reinforcement

Abstract

Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) are types of naturally occurring 1:1 clays with nanotubular structures and similar chemical composition to kaolin. Due to various characteristics such as nanoscale lumens, high length-to-diameter ratio, relatively low hydroxyl group density on the surface, etc., numerous exciting applications have been discovered for this unique, cheap and abundantly deposited clay. After briefly summarizing applications in controlled release, nanotemplating and sorption, we emphasize the applications of HNTs in the fabrication of polymer nanocomposites. The unique structures and performance of HNT-incorporated polymer nanocomposites processed by various routes are described. The results suggest that these nanocomposites exhibit remarkable performance such as reinforcing effects, enhanced flame retardancy and reduced thermal expansion. Accordingly, HNTs should be of interest in the area of polymer nanocomposites for structural and functional applications. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry