Project Details Structure and properties of polymer/clay nano-composite materials

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 2004
End Date:
31 January 2009
Division Name:


To evaluate the relationship between the morphology and the mechanical, rheological and transport properties of the polymer nano-composite materials.


Recent developments in the technology of intercalating polymer chains in nanoscale layers of clay have produced new types of high performance polymer composites. However, the effects of the higher order structure on mechanical properties are not yet well understood. For example, little is known on the crystallization of polymer chains confined in the nano-scale domains and subsequently occurring morphology formation. Since mechanical properties of the composites are strongly affected by the higher order structure, the control of the higher order structure becomes a key technology to design nano composites with excellent performance and/or functions. The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between the higher order structure and properties of commercially available nano-composites composed of polyamide, PMMA and clay. The topics cover a wide range of research from characterization of the components through physical properties in the solid state. Rheological properties of the melts are also an important topic related to the processability of the composites. In this project, several commercial grade nanocomposites comprising polyamide/clay and PMMA/clay will be supplied from the supplier. We expect Ube and Unitika to provide polyamide/clay and Lucite to provide PMMA/clay samples. The following topics will be studied.

  1. Morphology and Crystallization BehaviorWAXD, SAXS, DSC, POM, TEM and AFM Measurements
  2. Rheological Properties of the MeltsDynamic Visocoelasticity, Stress Relaxation, Shear and Elongational Flow Properties
  3. Mechanical Properties in the Solid StateStress-Strain Behavior, Stress Relaxation, Creep, Dynamic Mechanical Properties, Impact Strength, Fatigue Behavior, Micromechanics/Fracture
  4. Thermal Diffusion, Gas Permeability, Solvent Resistance
  5. Degradation and Flammability Behavior


Two commercial samples of Nylon/clay nanocomposite and one sample of PP/clay nanocomposite were received. The samples were distributed among the participating members and molecular characterization, morphology, rheological and mechanical, physical studies are under progress in different laboratories.

Jan 2009 – A publication titled “Structure and Properties of Polyamide-6 & 6/66 /Clay Nanocomposites” authored by S. Venkataramani, J. H. Lee, M. G. Park and S. C. Kim appeared in Journal of Macromolecular Science – Part A – Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vol. 46 No. 1, page 65, January 2009. (DOI: 10.1080/10601320802515399 )

project completed