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Bulk and Interfacial Effects on Density in Polymer Nanocomposites

Description: The barrier properties of polymers are a significant factor in determining the shelf or device lifetime in polymer packaging. Nanocomposites developed from the dispersion of nanometer thick platelets into a host polymer matrix have shown much promise. The magnitude of the benefit on permeability has been different depending on the polymer investigated or the degree of dispersion of the platelet in the polymer. In this dissertation, the effect of density changes in the bulk and at the polymer-platelet interface on permeability of polymer nanocomposites is investigated. Nanocomposites of nylon, PET, and PEN were processed by extrusion. Montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) in a range of concentrations from 1 to 5% was blended with all three resins. Dispersion of the MLS in the matrix was investigated by using one or a combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Variation in bulk density via crystallization was analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized optical microscopy. Interfacial densification was investigated using force modulation atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ellipsometry. Mechanical properties are reported. Permeability of all films was measured in an in-house built permeability measurement system. The effect of polymer orientation and induced defects on permeability was investigated using biaxially stretched, small and large cycle fatigue samples of PET and nylon nanocomposites. The effect of annealing in nylon and nanocomposites was also investigated. The measured permeability was compared to predicted permeability by considering the MLS as an ideal dispersion and the matrix as a system with concentration dependent crystallinity.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Sahu, Laxmi Kumari
Partner: UNT Libraries

Barrier and Long Term Creep Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites.

Description: The barrier properties and long term strength retention of polymers are of significant importance in a number of applications. Enhanced lifetime food packaging, substrates for OLED based flexible displays and long duration scientific balloons are among them. Higher material requirements in these applications drive the need for an accurate measurement system. Therefore, a new system was engineered with enhanced sensitivity and accuracy. Permeability of polymers is affected by permeant solubility and diffusion. One effort to decrease diffusion rates is via increasing the transport path length. We explore this through dispersion of layered silicates into polymers. Layered silicates with effective aspect ratio of 1000:1 have shown promise in improving the barrier and mechanical properties of polymers. The surface of these inorganic silicates was modified with surfactants to improve the interaction with organic polymers. The micro and nanoscale dispersion of the layered silicates was probed using optical and transmission microscopy as well as x-ray diffraction. Thermal transitions were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry. Mechanical and permeability measurements were correlated to the dispersion and increased density. The essential structure-property relationships were established by comparing semicrystalline and amorphous polymers. Semicrystalline polymers selected were nylon-6 and polyethylene terephthalate. The amorphous polymer was polyethylene terphthalate-glycol. Densification due to the layered silicate in both semicrystalline and amorphous polymers was associated with significant impact on barrier and long term creep behavior. The inferences were confirmed by investigating a semi-crystalline polymer - polyethylene - above and below the glass transition. The results show that the layered silicate influences the amorphous segments in polymers and barrier properties are affected by synergistic influences of densification and uniform dispersion of the layered silicates.
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Date: December 2004
Creator: Ranade, Ajit
Partner: UNT Libraries