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Polymer Degradation and Stability

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More information concerning the thermal degradation and charring of nanocomposites of poly(vinyl chloride), dioctyl phthalate and clay has been obtained by the use of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and the acquisition of the carbon (C1s), chlorine (Cl2p), and oxygen (O1s) spectra. In the cases of polystyrene–clay and poly(methyl methacrylate)–clay nanocomposites, it has been shown that the clay migrates to the surface as the temperature is raised and the polymer degrades, thereby confirming the barrier properties as a mechanism by which these materials function. For PVC–clay nanocomposites the surface at high temperatures is dominated by carbon, and not the oxygen of the clay. The presence of the clay does retard the chain-stripping degradation of the PVC and the enhanced char formation accounts for the observation of enrichment of carbon.


Accepted version. Polymer Degradation and Stability, Vol. 79, No. 2 (2003): 319-324. DOI. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. Used with permission.

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