Polymer Science Faculty Research


Synthesis and rheological properties of polystyrene/layered silicate nanocomposite

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Publication Date

Spring 2005


Exfoliated polystyrene (PS)/organo-modified montmorillonite (MMT) nanocomposites were synthesized through in situ free radical bulk polymerization by dispersing a modified reactive organophilic MMT layered silicate in styrene monomer. The original MMT was modified by a mixture of two commercial cationic surfactants, [2-(acryloyloxy)ethyl](4-benzoylbenzyl)dimethylammonium bromide (ADAB) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), with the former containing a polymerizable vinyl group. The exfoliating and intercalating structures were probed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Comparing with pure PS, the nanocomposites show much higher decomposition temperature, higher dynamic modulus, stronger shear thinning behavior and a smaller die swell ratio. The leveling-off of the storage modulus at low frequencies in the oscillatory shear measurements, as well as the observed yield like behavior, implies that the formation of a percolating nanoclay network is the origin of the enhanced viscoelasticity in these composites.



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