[en] nanostructured material ; nanocomposite ; clay
[en] Polyethylene-layered silicate nanocomposites were prepared by the in situ intercalative polymerization of ethylene by the so-called polymerization-filling technique and analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis and tensile testing. Non-modified montmorillonite and hectorite were first treated by trimethylaluminum-depleted methylaluminoxane before being contacted by a Ti-based constrained geometry catalyst. The nanocomposite was formed by addition and polymerization of ethylene. In the absence of a chain transfer agent, ultra high molecular weight polyethylene was produced. The tensile properties of these nanocomposites were poor and essentially independent of the nature and content of the silicate. Upon hydrogen addition, the molecular weight of the polyethylene was decreased with parallel improvement of the tensile and shear moduli, in relation to the filler content. The exfoliation of the layered silicates was confirmed by XRD analysis and TEM observation. The mechanical kneading of the molten nanocomposites resulted in the partial collapse of the exfoliated structure driven by the thermodynamic stability of the layered filler.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
Dow Chemical ; Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy ; The US Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Advanced Technology Program, Cooperative Agreement Number 70NANB7H3028