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The Effect of Processing Parameters of the Vinyl Ester Matrix Nanocomposites Based On Layered Silicate on the Level of Exfoliation

Authors: A. I. Alateyah, H. N. Dhakal, Z. Y. Zhang


The study of the effect of the processing parameters on the level of intercalation between the layered silicate and polymer of two different methodology took place. X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry, and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilized in order to examine the intercalation level of nanocomposites of both methodologies. It was found that drying the clay prior to mixing with the polymer, mixing time and speed, degassing time, and the curing method had major changes to the level of distribution of the nanocomposites structure. In methodology 1, the presence of aggregation layers was observed at only 2.5 wt.% clay loading whereas in methodology 2 the presence of aggregation layers was found at higher clay loading (i.e. 5 wt.%).

Keywords: Nanocomposites, exfoliation, vinyl ester, intercalation, layered silicate, characterisations, aggregation layers

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