Structure–property relationships of polymer blend/clay nanocomposites: Compatibilized and noncompatibilized polystyrene/propylene/clay

Authors

  • Oana M. Istrate,

    1. Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
    2. Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
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  • Micheal A. Gunning,

    1. Materials Research Institute, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
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  • Clement L. Higginbotham,

    1. Materials Research Institute, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
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  • Biqiong Chen

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
    2. Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
    • Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
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Abstract

Polymer blends represent an important class of materials in engineering applications. The incorporation of clay nanofiller may provide new opportunities for this type of materials to enhance their applications. This article reports on the effects of clay on the structure and properties of compatibilized and noncompatibilized polymer blends and presents a detailed process for quantitative analysis of the elastic moduli of polymer blend/clay nanocomposites, based on immiscible polystyrene/polypropylene (PS/PP) blends with or without maleated PP as the compatibilizer. The results show that in the noncompatibilized PS/PP/clay nanocomposite clay locates solely in the PS phase, whereas in the compatibilized nanocomposite clay disperses in both phases. The addition of clay to both polymer blends reduces the domain size significantly, modifies the crystallinity and improves the stiffness. The Mori–Tanaka and Christensen's models offer a reasonably good prediction of the elastic moduli of both types of nanocomposites. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys, 2012

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