Structural and thermal degradation behaviour of reclaimed clay nano-reinforced low density polyethylene nanocomposites.
Smith, Grant David
Mishra, Ajay Kumar
Matthews, Kerr H.
Csetenyi, Laszlo J.
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SIDDIQUE, S., SMITH, G.D., YATES, K., MISHRA, A.K., MATTHEWS, K., CSETENYI, L.J. and NJUGUNA, J. . Structural and thermal degradation behaviour of reclaimed clay nano-reinforced low-density polyethylene nanocomposites. Journal of polymer research [online], (accepted). Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10965-019-1802-9
In this study, a novel reclaimed clay nanofiller used to manufacture low-density polyethylene (LDPE)/Oil based mud fillers (OBMFs) nanocomposites by a melt compounding process. The mechanical testing samples were manufactured using injection moulding machine. The effect of reclaimed clay minerals influencing the crystallinity and the dispersion characteristics of this clay in LDPE matrix affecting the structural and thermal properties of the nanocomposites was investigated. It was observed that OBMFs was compatible with LDPE matrix which implies a strong interfacial interaction between the clay layers and polymer and that the influence of clay minerals present in OBMFs forming chemical bonds within the microstructure within the nanocomposites. The char yields of nanocomposites increased with OBMFs content. The TD5% and TD50% (onset degradation temperature at 5 weight% loss and 50 weight% loss, respectively) of the LDPE nanocomposite with 10.0 wt% OBMFs was the highest (27°C higher in TD5% and 54°C higher in TD50%) among the nanocomposites. Viscoelastic analysis data showed a sharp decrease in the storage modulus of OBMFs reinforced LDPE nanocomposites. The tan δ spectra presented a strong influence of the filler contents on the relaxation process of LDPE and its nanocomposites. An enhancement of mechanical properties of composites was identified which showed a gain of 14% Young’s modulus and a gain of 18% tensile strength at 10.0 wt% OBMFs loading compared to those properties of neat LDPE. The effect of filler dispersion in LDPE polymer matrix in relation to thermal stability is investigated and heat capacity data is employed to characterise changes in thermal characteristics relating to the nanomorphology of the materials.