Methacrylate Modified Clays and Their Polystrene and Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) Nanocomposites
Polymers for Advanced Technologies
Two methacrylate-modified clays have been prepared and used to produce nanocomposites of polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate) by in situ polymerization. These nanocomposites have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), cone calorimetry and the evaluation of mechanical properties. When the clay contains only a single methacrylate unit, the styrene system is exfoliated but methacrylate is intercalated. When two methacrylate units are present on the cation of the clay, both systems are exfoliated. TGA data show that the thermal stability of all the nanocomposites is improved, as expected. The relationships between the fire properties and nanostructure of the nanocomposites are complicated, as shown by cone calorimetry. The conclusions that one may reach using cone calorimetry do not completely agree with those from XRD and TEM. The evaluation of mechanical properties shows an increase in Young's modulus for all nanocomposites along with a decrease in elongation; tensile strength is decreased for methacrylate nanocomposites but increased for styrenics systems. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.