2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

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Clean Technology 2008

Reactive block copolymers as versatile compatibilizers for polymer-clay nanocomposites

L. Flores-Santos, A. González-Montiel, M.D. Baeza-Alvarado, E. Espinoza-Rodríguez, P. Esparza-Hernández
CID, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, S.A. de C.V., MX

block copolymers, nanofillers, mechanical properties

It’s well known that silicate-polymer nanocomposites offer a number of significant advantages over traditional silicate-polymer composites, such as increased tensile strength, improved heat deflection temperature and flame retardance, with typically 3-5 wt.% of the nanofiller, producing materials with specific gravity close to that of the unfilled polymer, good surface appearance and better processability than traditional reinforcements. In order to obtain these improved properties an excellent dispersion or exfoliation is essential, but it’s usually difficult to achieve. The present work covers the use of a series of block copolymers synthesized via CRP to enhance the dispersion and or exfoliation of nanoclays in thermoplastic or thermoset resins. The block copolymers can either be used with existing, commercially-available clays, or it can be designed as an intercalant in producing a clay nanocomposite material. The CRP technique allows fine tuning the molecular weight, the amount of functional groups and the composition of blocks, in order to obtain an optimal performance between nanofiller and the polymer. A selection of their performance as compatibilizers in several polymer-clay systems will be addressed, and a correlation of the mechanical properties with the intrinsic variables of the compatibilizer (Mn, composition, etc.) is discussed.

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract