Nanotech 2010

Enhancing the performance of polypropylene composites utilizing surface modified Halloysite nanoclays

L. Flores-Santos, R. Price, G. Montes de Oca-Ramírez, L. Reyes-Alva, A. Gonzalez-Montiel
Macro-M, MX

Keywords: halloysite, nanoclays, polypropylene, nylon-6


Halloysite nanoclays are 1:1 aluminosilicate cylinders with diameters of 30-50 nm and lengths from 0.5 to 5 um. These novel nanocylinders have a hollow lumen of 15-30 nm and the outer surface is predominately silicon oxide while the inner surfaces are alumina. Halloysite has been incorporated as filler in different polymeric matrices in order to improve mechanical or fire retardancy properties of the composite. Since this nanoclay has a hydrophilic surface, that is incompatible with the hydrophobic character of most polymers, the surface has been traditionally treated with silanes. Macro-M has developed a novel approach using amphiphilic block copolymers prepared using controlled radical polymerization, to modify the surface of Halloysite. Block copolymers can be tailor made in order to optimize the compatibility between the clay and the polymeric matrices. In this work we present the mechanical properties improvement of Halloysite/polypropylene and Halloysite/nylon-6 composites with and without glass fiber as macroscopic filler; the addition of 10%wt of treated Halloysite allows an increase in the flexural modulus of 25% in both, 30% fiber glass reinforced nylon and polypropylene composites. The lower cost of these novel aluminosilicate nanocylinders, compared to multiwalled carbon nanotubes should expand the range of applications in cost sensitive applications
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