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Title: PET/Organoclay nanocomposites
Authors: Sontikaew, Somchoke
Advisors: Tarverdi, K
Allan, PS
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Brunel University School of Engineering and Design PhD Theses
Abstract: This thesis looks at the study of nanocomposites of Poly(ethylene terephthalate) and organoclays. Two methods of materials blending are investigated for the production of the nanocomposites: solvent blending and melt blending. The main objectives were the investigation of the influence of organoclays and processing conditions on morphological, rheological, mechanical properties, crystal structure and isothermal crystallization kinetics of the nanocomposite and a comparison with unfilled PET. In solvent blending, the use of long sonication time and epoxy led to the formation of a two-dimensional network structure of long, thin particles in a solvent blended PET nanocomposite at low clay loading. The clay network structure seemed not to affect the tensile properties. The long, thin particles were able to be separated and dispersed further by high shear in a twin screw extruder, resulting in a high level of separation and dispersion. The crystallization of the solvent blended nanocomposite was not only influenced by the nanoclay but also by the residual solvent. The extent of clay dispersion did not affect the crystallization of the solvent blended sample. Both solvent blended and melt blended nanocomposites showed that increasing the amount of surfactant improved the degree of nanoclay dispersion in the PET that led to an enhancement in the tensile properties of the nanocomposite compared to the unfilled polymer. The degradation of the organoclay during melt blending did not limit the nanoclay dispersion in the PET. The low thermal stability of the organoclay reduced the strength of the crystalline nanocomposite but it did not affect the strength of the amorphous nanocomposite. In contrast to the solvent blended sample, the extent of clay dispersion influenced the crystallization of the melt blended sample. The poorly dispersed particles were more efficient in nucleating PET crystallization than the well dispersed particles. The crystallization rate of PET increased as the surfactant concentration decreased.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Theses

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