Mixed modifier clays and their dispersion in solvent cast polycaprolactone nanocomposites

CLEGG, Francis and BREEN, Christopher (2013). Mixed modifier clays and their dispersion in solvent cast polycaprolactone nanocomposites. Applied Clay Science, 85, 80-87.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2013.08.048
Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.clay.2013.08.048


The concept and development of mixed modifier clays have been investigated in order to optimize clay dispersion within polymer matrices in general and polycaprolactone (PCL) in particular. A range of mixed modifier clays have been prepared by the inclusion of a second, more polar, organomodifier of much shorter chain length (Me3(CH2CH2OH)N+) within a benzyl(hydrogenatedtallowalkyl)dimethylammonium organoclay. The focus was to produce a range of organoclays with a systematic progression of selected polarities so that an optimum compatibility with the host polymer, PCL, could be achieved. The key to success was to attain that delicate balance where the long alkyl chains on the first modifier just overcame the layer–layer attraction whilst the second, shorter chain, modifier offered the potential to optimise the polarity of the clay surface and reduce the congestion in the interlayer space to ease polymer ingress. The organo-modification, subsequent polymer dissolution and casting were achieved using nitrobenzene as the solvent. X-ray diffraction (XRD) evidence, supported by, carbon/nitrogen analysis, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and thermogravimetry–mass spectroscopy, indicated that, when fully optimized, a homogeneous distribution of the two modifiers had been achieved within each individual interlayer space and that the amount of each modifier could be controlled. XRD data and transmission electron microscopy images confirmed that the extent of dispersion, of the mixed modifier clay in PCL, could be controlled to produce layered aluminosilicate–polymer systems that were either exfoliated, intercalated or a mixture of both.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Polymers Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre > Polymers, Composites and Spectroscopy Group
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.clay.2013.08.048
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2014 12:48
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2014 12:50
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7916

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