Creation of polymeric nanocomposites based on the polymers of structural designation is a relevant task at present. Of great interest in obtaining the polymeric nanocomposites is montmorillonite, as a nanoscale heterophase.
Today in the field of development of layered silicate polymeric nanocomposites the main attention is focused on the achievement of high level of nanoparticles exfoliation in the polymeric matrix that specifies high operational characteristics. Thus the choice of effective organic modifiers of layered silicate is an urgent problem because the modifier ensures high adhesion of the filler with polymeric matrix. From this point of view the study of effect of organic clay on the structure and properties of obtained nanocomposites with unknown nature is of great interest. The determination of mentioned regularities will give the possibility to control the structure and predict the properties of the composites based on organic clay.
One of the approaches used to improve thermodynamic compatibility of non-polar polymer with layered silicates is the introduction of polymeric polar modifier.
Therefore, the aim of the work was development of method for compatibility of montmorillonite (MMT) with polar polymer polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), investigation of structure and efficiency of MMT intercalation, determination of modified montmorillonite effect on physico-mechanical properties of the mixture of polycaproamide (PA-6) and polypropylene.
The methods of DTA, DTG, TG, and X-ray analyzes show that, under the conditions of mixing of aqueous solutions of PVP and MMT in the ultrasound field, there is a physical interaction between them. As a result, a composite with an increased thermal stability compared to pure PVP is formed. The developed montmorillonite-polyvinylpyrrolidone mixture (MPM) may be used as a modifier for polar and non-polar polymers. The most advantageous for use as a nanomodifier is the composition of the MMT:PVP = 1:5, in which the intercalation of MMT occurs most fully.
To demonstrate the effect of MPM on the structure and properties of nanocomposite based on it we selected the mixture of polyamide-6 and polypropylene. The development of new layered-silicate nanocomposites based on the mixture of polyamide-6 and polypropylene should extend the areas of their application as the construction materials due to their improved physico-chemical characteristics and fire resistance.
It was established that in-melt mixing of polypropylene and polyamide, which was modified by PVP-intercalated montmorillonite, forms a nanocomposite with properties that differ significantly from the properties of the original polymers. These composites are characterized by significantly higher values of hardness and modulus of elasticity compared to the original PP. At the same time, it was found that relative elongation and forced elastic deformation of the nanocomposites are reduced by 2 and 4 times, respectively, comparing to pure PP. Such results can be explained by the formation in the structure of the synthesized composites of interpolymeric complexes with physical linkages with the participation of MPM intercalated by low molecular PVP. From the technological and economical standpoints, and based on the material operational properties, the optimum amount of modified polyamide in the mixture is 15–30 wt %.
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