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Polymer Degradation and Stability

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Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) are interesting materials for nanocomposite formation because one can vary the identity of the metals, the anions and the stoichiometry to see the effect of these on the ability of the nano-material to disperse in a polymer and to see what effect dispersion has on the properties of the polymer. In this study, the anions 2-ethylhexyl sulfate (SEHS), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phosphate (HDEHP) and dodecyl benzenesulfonate (SDBS) have been utilized as the charge balancing anions to synthesize organo-LDHs. Nanocomposites of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and polystyrene (PS) with organo-LDHs were prepared both by melt blending and bulk polymerization. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy were used to characterize the morphology of the nanocomposites while the thermal stability and fire properties of nanocomposites were studied by thermogravimetric analysis and cone calorimetry; the mechanical properties are also investigated. In general, it is easier to disperse these organo-LDHs in PMMA than in PS, but the sulfate cannot be dispersed at the nanometer level in either material. The addition of these organo-LDHs does not affect the mechanical properties. The best fire properties are obtained with the sulfonate LDH, SDBS; the reduction in the peak heat release rate is almost 50% for both polymers.


Accepted version. Polymer Degradation and Stability, Vol. No. 5 (May 2009): 770-781. DOI. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Used with permission.

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