Yihe Zhang, Chunxiao Yu, P. Hu
Applied Clay Science
Abstract Palygorskite (Pal) and modified Pal (OPal) by a silane coupling agent are used to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) and the nanocomposites are prepared by melt blending. The synthesized palygorskite PBS nanocomposites are characterized by thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The mechanical properties and dynamic mechanical and crystallization behavior have been studied. Surface modification improves the dispersion of Pal in the PBS matrix and 16% improvement in the tensile strength is observed from palygorskite PBS nanocomposites with 3 wt.% of OPal compared to pure PBS. The flexural properties and thermal stability of the palygorskite PBS nanocomposites are also enhanced significantly in the presence of OPal. Incorporation of OPal increases the storage modulus and decreases tan δ demonstrating the reinforcing effects of clay on the PBS matrix. Thermal analysis reveals that the Pal nanoparticles are effective nucleating agents accelerating crystallization. The glass transition temperature increases slightly in the presence of palygorskite except the sample with 2 wt.% clay.