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Influence of the compatibilizer polarity and molar mass on the morphology and the gas barrier properties of polyethylene/clay nanocomposites

Authors

  • E. Picard,

    1. Laboratoire des Matériaux Polymères et des Biomatériaux, Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères, IMP, UMR CNRS5223, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, Bât. ISTIL, 15 Bd A. Latarjet, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
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  • A. Vermogen,

    1. MATEIS, UMR CNRS 5510, INSA de Lyon, Bât Blaise Pascal, 20 Av. A. Einstein, 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
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  • J-F. Gérard,

    1. Laboratoire des Matériaux Macromoléculaires, Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères, IMP, UMR CNRS5223, INSA de Lyon, Bât Jules Verne, 20 Av. A. Einstein, 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
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  • E. Espuche

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire des Matériaux Polymères et des Biomatériaux, Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères, IMP, UMR CNRS5223, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, Bât. ISTIL, 15 Bd A. Latarjet, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
    • Laboratoire des Matériaux Polymères et des Biomatériaux, Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères, IMP, UMR CNRS5223, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, Bât. ISTIL, 15 Bd A. Latarjet, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
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Abstract

In this study, different modified polyethylenes with different molar masses and different modification rates were examined as compatibilizers to prepare high density polyethylene/organoclay nanocomposites. Nanocomposites having 5 wt % organo-modified clay and 20 wt % interfacial agent were prepared by melt blending. The effect of compatibilizer molar mass and polarity was investigated on the clay dispersion and on the gas barrier properties. It was observed that the amount of large and dense fillers aggregates was considerably reduced by introduction of an interfacial agent. The nanocomposite final morphology was governed by a diffusion/shear mechanism. A high degree of clay delamination was obtained with the high molar mass compatibilizers, whereas highly swollen clay aggregates resulted from the incorporation of the low molar mass interfacial agents. In the investigated nanocomposites series, the barrier properties could not be directly related to the clay dispersion state but resulted also from the matrix/clay interfacial interactions. A gas transport mechanism based on these both parameters was proposed to explain the barrier properties evolution in these low polar nanocomposites series. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 46: 2593–2604, 2008

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