Effect of Nanoclay and SEBS-g-MA on the Morphology and Properties of Immiscible Poly(methyl methacrylate)/Polystyrene Blend
In recent years, nanoclays are being used as compatibilizer for various immiscible polymer blends. However, little work has been done on the morphology of immiscible polymer blends in presence of both the nanoclay and a reactive compatibilizer. Here, we report the synergistic effect of nanoclay and SEBS-g-MA on the morphology and properties of (70/30 w/w) PMMA/PS blend. Scanning electron microscopy study of the blend with various amount of nanoclay and SEBS-g-MA indicated a reduction in the average domain sizes (D) of dispersed PS phase in PMMA matrix compared to that in the pure blend. Addition of both SEBS-g-MA and nanoclay significantly lowered the D of PS in the blend compared to that with only SEBS-g-MA or clay. X-ray diffraction study and transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of intercalated clay platelets in PMMA matrix, as well as, at the interface of the (70/30 w/w) PMMA/PS blend-clay nanocomposites. Addition of SEBS-g-MA in the blend-clay nanocomposites promoted the exfoliation of clays in PMMA matrix. Thus, exfoliated clay platelets in PMMA matrix effectively restricted the coalescence of dispersed PS domains while SEBS-g-MA improved the adhesion between the phases at the interface. At certain loading (phr), storage modulus, elongation at break and thermal stability of the blend were greatly improved when both the nanoclay and SEBS-g-MA were present in the blend. The use of reactive compatibilizer and nanoclay in polymer blends may lead to a high performance material which combines the advantages of compatibilized polymer blends and the merits of polymer nanocomposites.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2011
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