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Synthesis, characterization and properties of organoclay‐modified polyurethane/epoxy interpenetrating polymer network nanocomposites

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organoclay‐modified polyurethane/epoxy interpenetrating network nanocomposites (oM‐PU/EP nanocomposites) were prepared by adding organophilic montmorillonite (oMMT) to interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) of polyurethane and epoxy resin (PU/EP) which had been prepared by a sequential polymerization technique. Wide‐angle X‐ray diffraction (WAXD) and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM) analysis showed that the interpenetrating process of PU and EP improved the exfoliation and dispersion degree of oMMT. The effects of the NCO/OH ratio (isocyanate index), the weight ratio of PU/EP and oMMT content on the phase structure and the mechanical properties of the oM‐PU/EP nanocomposites were studied by tensile testing and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM). Water absorption tests showed that the PU/EP interpenetrating networks and oMMT had synergistic effects on improvement in the water resistance of the oM‐PU/EP nanocomposites. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis showed that PU was compatible with EP and that the glass transition temperature (T g) of the oM‐PU/EP nanocomposites increased with the oMMT content up to 3 wt%, and then decreased with further increasing oMMT content. The thermal stability of these nanocomposites with various oMMT contents was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and the mechanism of thermal stability improvement was discussed according to the experimental results. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: PU/EP; interpenetrating networks (IPN); nanocomposites; polyurethanes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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