Thermal and Flame Properties of Polyethylene and Polypropylene Nanocomposites Based on an Oligomerically–Modified Clay
Polymer Degradation and Stability
An oligomerically-modified clay was made using a surfactant which is the ammonium salt of an oligomer. The newly modified clay contains 37.5% inorganic clay and 62.5% oligomer. Polyethylene and polypropylene nanocomposites were made by melt blending the polymer with the oligomerically-modified clay in a Brabender mixer at various clay loadings. The structure of the nanocomposites was characterized by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Mechanical testing showed that the polyethylene nanocomposites had an enhanced Young's modulus and slightly decreased elongation, while the changes for polypropylene nanocomposites are small compared with the virgin polymers. The thermal stability and flame properties were evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis and cone calorimetry, respectively. The plasticising effect of the oligomer was suppressed because of the increased inorganic content. The maximum reduction in peak heat release rate is about 40%.