Development of Low Cost Silicate Nanofibre Filled Polymer Matrix Nanocomposites

Project: Research

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Nanoclay, in particular montmorillonite (MMT), has a natural layered structure, with each individual clay layer being about 1 nm thick. Given appropriate chemical treatment, the individual clay layers can be well separated (exfoliated) in the polymer matrix. With the nanoclay exfoliated in the nanocomposite, dramatic improvements in tensile properties, heat distortion temperature, barrier properties, and flammability characteristics can be achieved. However, there are two major problems with the polymer/MMT nanocomposites: (i) the high temperature instabilities of the chemical treatment for MMT, and (ii) the reduction in toughness as MMT is added into the polymer matrix.In this research, attapulgite (ATP), which is another form of nanoclay, will be used to produce new types of polymer nanocomposites. ATP consists of fibres with diameters of about 20 nm and lengths of a few micrometers. With this elongated fibre structure, the chemical treatment to enhance the separation and dispersion of the ATP fibres in polymer matrices will be easier than that for MMT. Furthermore, it is expected that the toughening and reinforcing effects that have been found in conventional fibre reinforced micro-composites will also be found in polymer/ATP nanocomposites.


Project number7002093
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/04/0724/06/09