Applied Surface Science, Vol.262, 56-59, 2012
The effect of enhancing the hydrophobicity of OMMT on the characteristics of PMMA/OMMT nanocomposites
Transparent poly(methyl methacrylate)/organically modified montmorillonite (PMMA/OMMT) nanocomposites were fabricated using a solution intercalation method. Two grades of OMMT modified with quaternary alkylammonium ions and containing different amounts of organic matter, NZ70 and NX, were used. X-ray diffraction patterns showed that the peaks regarded as a (0 0 1) d-spacing and a second peak were shifted toward lower 2 theta values, implying the expansion or the partial exfoliation of the silicate layers, respectively. TEM images showed that the silicate platelets were largely well dispersed independent of the hydrophobicity, although some aggregates were observed. The flexural modulus of the PMMA/OMMT nanocomposites increased favorably with an increasing amount of OMMT of either grade. However, only the NX displayed comparable strain at breakage to that of the PMMA. These results suggest that the highly hydrophobic grade NX shows great promise for use in nanocomposites made via solution intercalation. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.