Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Organically-modified montmorillonite (MMT) clays have been prepared using ammonium salts containing quinoline, pyridine, benzene, and styrenic groups. The nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending and the formation of nanocomposites was characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Thermal stability and flammability were evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and cone calorimetry measurements, respectively. The presence ofmodified MMT at 5% loading resulted in significant improvement in thermal stability compared to the virgin polymer. Effective activation energies for mass loss were determined via a model-free isoconversional approach from TGA data obtained under N2 and under air. The additives served to raise the activation energy, with a more significant impact observed under pyrolysis conditions. The onset temperature of degradation and temperature of maximum decomposition rate are increased, while the peak heat release rate and mass loss rates are significantly reduced in the presence of three of the modified clays. No reduction in the total heat released is observed.