Inderscience Publishers

Thermal and flexural properties of room–temperature cured PMMA grafted natural rubber toughened epoxy layered silicate nanocomposite

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Thermal and flexural properties of ternary system containing epoxy, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) grafted natural rubber, and organic chemically modified montmorillonite clay (Cloisite 30B) were studied. The results of TEM, SEM, XRD, FTIR, DSC, TGA and flexural tests were discussed. The rates of glass transition and decomposition process were introduced as relevant parameters to evaluate glass transition and thermal stability. It was observed that the addition of 5 phr Cloisite 30B in epoxy contributed to significant improvement in thermal properties and flexural modulus of nanocomposites. The intercalated structure of silicate clay may help to introduce tortuous path for volatiles to escape the epoxy network, hence retarding the decomposition process. The high char yield content for epoxy/clay and rubber toughened epoxy/clay nanocomposite show that they can be used as adhesive and coating materials with good thermal stability properties.

Keywords: silicate nanocomposites, natural rubber, thermal stability, flexural properties, nanotechnology, PMMA, toughened epoxy layers, poly(methyl methacrylate), montmorillonite clay, glass transition, adhesives, coatings

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