The influence of the type and content of organically modified nanoclay (NC) and the amount of calcium stearate (Ca.St) on the fusion characteristics of a poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) nanocomposite was studied by using response surface methodology. To interpret the fusion behavior, different PVC/NC compounds were prepared in a Plasticorder with a constant rotor speed of 60 rpm while keeping the processing time and temperature constant. The results revealed that introducing NC particles into the PVC compound resulted in an increase in the maximum torque (MAT), while the minimum torque (MIT) declined. On the contrary, both the MAT and MIT values slightly increased with increasing Ca.St content. It was also found that with increasing NC content, the fusion time increased and the fusion factor decreased, whereas increasing the Ca.St lowered the fusion time. Furthermore, the difference between the MIT and MAT values demonstrated multifarious behaviors depending on the material type. Ultimately, a correlation was established between the material characteristics and the fusion factor of the PVC nanocompounds. J. VINYL ADDIT. TECHNOL., 19:168-176, 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers
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