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Effect of Sepiolite Content on Hydrophilicity and Thermal Stability of Poly(butyl lactate methacrylate)

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In the present work, the hydrophilicity and thermal behavior of nanocomposites of poly(butyl lactate methacrylate) were investigated using different weight percent of sepiolite. These nanocomposites were prepared by solution casting method. X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies indicated that the increase in sepiolite content decreased the average molecular interchain spacing () values from 7.18 to 6.23 Å in nanocomposites. Apart from the amorphous halo peak of nanocomposites, the appearance of crystalline peak at 7.41° was due to the d110 plane of sepiolite. Surface morphology of nanocomposites was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques and the uniform dispersion of nanofiller was observed up to 1% (w/w). Depending upon the sepiolite content, relative humidity and time, the hydrophilicity of nanocomposites can be tuned to a wide range from 5.7 to 23.6% (w/w) and it follows Fickian absorption. Glass transition temperature of nanocomposites increased from 72.1 to 80.3 °C with an increase in sepiolite content. The thermal stability of nanocomposites increased with an increase in sepiolite content, which were thermally stable up to 200 °C and thereafter exhibited two-step thermal degradation in nitrogen atmosphere.
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Keywords: HYDROPHILICITY; LACTATE; METHACRYLATE; NANOCOMPOSITE; SEPIOLITE; THERMAL STABILITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 14 October 2017

This article was made available online on 10 April 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Effect of Sepiolite Content on Hydrophilicity and Thermal Stability of Poly(butyl lactate methacrylate)".

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