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Morphology and mechanical properties of a novel amorphous polyamide/nanoclay nanocomposite

Authors

  • Xingui Zhang,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637459, Singapore
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  • Leslie S. Loo

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637459, Singapore
    • School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637459, Singapore
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Abstract

A novel amorphous polyamide/montmorillonite nanocomposite based on poly(hexamethylene isophthalamide) was successfully prepared by melt intercalation. Wide angle X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy showed that organoclay containing quaternary amine surfactants with phenyl and hydroxyl groups was delaminated in the polymer matrix resulting in well-exfoliated morphologies even at high montmorillonite content. Differential scanning calorimetry results indicated that clay platelets did not induce the formation of a crystalline phase in this amorphous polymer. Tensile tests demonstrated that the addition of nanoclay caused a dramatic increase in Young's modulus (almost twofold) and yield strength of the nanocomposites compared with the homopolymer. The nanocomposites exhibited ductile behavior up to 5 wt % of nanoclay. The improvement in Young's modulus is comparable with semicrystalline aliphatic nylon 6 nanocomposites. Both the main chain amide groups and the amorphous nature of the polyamide are responsible for enhancing the dispersion of the nanofillers, thereby, leading to improved properties of the nanocomposites. The structure-property relationship for these nanocomposites was also explored. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 46: 2605–2617, 2008

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