Styrenic Polymer Nanocomposites Based on an Oligomerically-Modified Clay with High Inorganic Content
Polymer Degradation and Stability
Clay was modified with an oligomeric surfactant containing styrene and lauryl acrylate units along with a small amount of vinylbenzyl chloride to permit the formation of an ammonium salt so that this can be attached to a clay. The oligomerically-modified clay contains 50% inorganic clay, and styrenic polymer nanocomposites, including those of polystyrene (PS), high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), styrene–acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN) and acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS), were prepared by melt blending. The morphologies of the nanocomposites were evaluated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Mixed intercalated/delaminated nanocomposites were formed for SAN and ABS while largely immiscible nanocomposites were formed for PS and HIPS. The thermal stability and fire properties were evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis and cone calorimetry, respectively. The plasticization from the oligomeric surfactant was suppressed and the tensile strength and Young's modulus were improved, compared to similar oligomerically-modified clays with higher organic content.