Compatibilization level effects on the structure and mechanical properties of rubber-modified polyamide-6/clay nanocomposites

Authors

  • I. González,

    1. Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros and Instituto de Materiales Poliméricos “POLYMAT”, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), P.O. Box 1072, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
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  • J. I. Eguiazábal,

    1. Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros and Instituto de Materiales Poliméricos “POLYMAT”, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), P.O. Box 1072, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
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  • J. Nazábal

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros and Instituto de Materiales Poliméricos “POLYMAT”, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), P.O. Box 1072, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
    • Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros and Instituto de Materiales Poliméricos “POLYMAT”, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), P.O. Box 1072, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
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Abstract

Exfoliated polyamide-6 (PA6)/organically modified montmorillonite clay (OMMT) nanocomposites (PNs) were modified with partially maleinized styrene–ethylene/butadiene–styrene triblock copolymers (SEBS) at three maleinization levels in an attempt to link in these materials high toughness with appropriate small-strain and fracture tensile properties. OMMT stayed only in the PA6 matrix, and no preferential location in the matrix/rubber interphase was observed. The increased dispersed phase size upon the addition of OMMT was attributed to interactions between maleic anhydride (MA) functionalized SEBS and the surfactant of OMMT. The rubber particle size generally decreased when the MA content of SEBS increased, and this indicated compatibilization. The subsequent good adhesion led to tough nanocomposites across a wide range of both strain rates and fracture modes. As the critical interparticle distance (τc) decreased with the MA content, and the other parameters that could influence the surface-to-surface mean interparticle distance did not change, it is proposed that in these PNs higher adhesion leads to a smaller τc value. Finally, the presence in the matrix of a nanostructured clay makes the rubber content necessary for the toughness jump to increase and τc to decrease. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 43: 3611–3620, 2005

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