Development of a Low FST and High Mechanical Performance Hybrid Nanocomposite Material for Ferries and Cruise Ship Superstructures

S. Nitodas, A. Stefopoulos, J. Sacristán, M.C. Maestre, C. Sáenz, G. Ibarz
Glonatech S.A., GR

Keywords: hybrid nanocomposites, marine applications, carbon nanotubes, LDH, flame retardancy, high strength materials

Summary:

The main aim of the current work is the development of polymer nanostructured foams from PVC that will serve as the core of sandwich structures for marine vessels and construction materials. The PVC is enhanced with nanoparticles consisting of a) organophosphorous-modified Layered Double Hydroxides (LDHs), b) high-purity pristine or functionalized multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), c) combination of both (hybrid nanocomposites). The nanoparticles were characterized with XRD, FTIR, XPS and SEM in order to define their attributes. The PVC-based nanocomposites were prepared via extrusion after thorough determination of the processing parameters for attaining optimal dispersion of nanoparticles. The thermal stability and flame retardancy of the composites were determined by TGA and the Limited Oxygen Index (LOI) method, respectively. The results showed enhanced thermal stability for LDHs whereas the flammability of MWCNTs-PVC composites was found to drastically improve relative to that of PVC. The PVC-based composites exhibited enhanced Young’s modulus compared to PVC due to the reinforcing effect of the chosen flame-retardant systems. Taken under consideration the obtained data, novel hybrid PVC composites with combination of LDHs-MWCNTs were subsequently synthesized. Their characterization revealed remarkable improvement in both thermal and mechanical properties. The characterization results are presented and discussed.