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Polymer Degradation and Stability

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Nanocomposites of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) with layered silicates and with polyhedral oligosilsesquioxanes (POSS) were prepared by bulk polymerization. The thermal and fire stabilities of the various organically-modified clay and POSS nanocomposites were evaluated using both thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and cone calorimetry. Thermogravimetric analysis is not a good criteria for evaluating nanocomposite formation but cone calorimetry can be. For montmorillonite systems, when more than 4% clay is present, the expected reduction in peak heat release rate is observed. For hectorite, a minimum of 6% clay concentration is required to achieve the same reduction in peak heat release rate. POSS has the potential to reduce the peak heat release rate but one must be careful in selecting the POSS material to be evaluated.


Accepted version. Polymer Degradation and Stability, Vol. 88, No. 3 (June 2005): 401-406. DOI. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. Used with permission.

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