Thermal Degradation of Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate Copolymer Nanocomposites
The degradation pathway of ethylene–vinyl acetate copolymers and their nanocomposites is investigated using TGA/FT-IR, TGA, GC–MS, cone calorimetry and UV techniques to determine if the presence of the clay has an effect on the degradation pathway. The first step of the degradation, the loss of acetic acid by chain stripping, has been shown to be accelerated by the presence of clay. In this work we show that clay does affect the degradation pathway and that the presence of hydroxyl groups on the edges of the clay could be the cause of the accelerated initial step. The products of the second step of the degradation are changed in quantity and some new products are produced, showing that the clay also has an effect on this step of the degradation pathway. A scheme is suggested to account for the role of the clay in the degradation.