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Keywords:

  • nanocomposites;
  • grafting;
  • organophilic clay;
  • Cloisite 20A;
  • isosorbide

Abstract

This paper reports experiments on grafting of a new polymerizable monomer onto organophilic montmorillonite. The monomer, 5-methacryloyloxy-1,4:36-D-anhydrosorbitol (MAS), was synthesized by reacting methacryloyl chloride and isosorbide in the presence of Et3N as base. Then, Cloisite 20A was reacted with vinyltrichlorosilane to replace the edge hydroxyl groups of the clay with a vinyl moiety. Because the reaction liberates HCl, it was performed in the presence of sodium hydrogen carbonate to prevent the exchange of quaternary alkylammonium cations with H+ ions. Only the silanol groups on the edge of the clay react with vinyltrichlorosilane. After the reaction, the product maintained the same basal spacing as the precursor. The radical polymerization of the product with MAS as a vinyl monomer led to chemical grafting of the polymer onto the montmorillonite surface. The homopolymer formed during polymerization was separated from the grafted organoclay by Soxhlet extraction. Chemical grafting of the polymer onto Cloisite 20A was confirmed using infrared spectroscopy. The prepared nanocomposite materials and the grafted nanoparticles were studied using X-ray diffraction and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Exfoliated nanocomposite was obtained for 1 wt% clay loadings. The nanocomposites were studied using thermogravimetric and dynamic mechanical analyses. Improved thermal properties were observed for nanocomposites with 1–5 wt% clay content. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry