Mechanical and Gas Barrier Properties of Nylon 6/Clay Nanocomposite Blown Films
Keywords:Nanocomposites, nylon 6, organoclay, mechanical properties, gas barrier properties, microstructure.
Nylon 6/clay nanocomposite films were prepared by melt mixing nylon 6 with organoclay using a twin screw extruder attached to a blown film die. The type of surfactant used in the pretreatment of organoclay was expected to affect the degree of clay dispersion, which would in turn affect the degree of crystallinity, crystalline phase and bulk properties of the polymer composite. Two different surfactants used to treat the surface of montmorillonite clay were trimethyl tallow quaternary ammonium chloride (M3T, a single-chain surfactant) and dimethyl bis (hydrogenated-tallow) ammonium chloride (M2(HT)2, a double-chain surfactant). The addition of the resulting organoclay into nylon 6 was found to enhance the formation of Î³-phase and increase the degree of crystallinity and crystallization temperature of the nylon 6. In fact nanocomposite films containing the single-chain surfactant showed a higher degree of clay dispersion in nylon 6 matrix, up to 148% higher stiffness and up to 100% lower oxygen permeability than those films containing the corresponding double-chain surfactant at the same inorganic loadings investigated. As expected, the nanocomposite films exhibited 58% higher stiffness in the machine direction than the transverse direction.
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