Fundamental studies of in-situ polymerization of nylon-6 nanocomposite




Shabbir, Shagufta

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Nanocomposites were originally studied as early as the 1960’s. In more recent times nylon 6-montmorillonite clay nanocomposite have their origin in the pioneering research conducted at Toyota Central Research Laboratories where these two divergent organic and minerals were successfully integrated. To understand the fundamental behavior of these nanocomposites, several different types of nylon 6 nanocomposites were prepared via in-situ polymerization in our lab. The mechanical and physical properties were determined and compared to the material made previously. This research project focuses on formation of nanocomposite by in-situ polymerization and understanding the resulting properties of the composite. Nylon 6 nanocomposites were made using montmorillonite and laponite, to study the effect of different particle size on the nanocomposite. Another aspect which is looked at is optimizing the molecular weight of the nanocomposite. Nylon 6 montmorillonite nanocomposite made by Toyota (CRL) showed a low molecular weight. Thus, in this research the number of initiators used in the polymerization process is reduced to give high molecular weight nanocomposite. Silane edge treated nanocomposite are also studied, the silane-coupling agents interacts with hydroxyl groups present on the edges of the clay plates it is functionalized so that it participates in the polymerization process. Two different general types of nanocomposite using silane were made, one in which the surface is treated with the aminocaproic acid which initiates polymerization on the surface of the clay plates, thus resulting in a nanocomposite which has polymer growing from the surface as well as from the edges of the clay plate and another in which the surface is not treated with the initiator and the polymer grows from the edges of the clay plate. From the comparative results the conclusions that were drawn were that the edge and the surface treated nanocomposite showed a dramatic improvement in the impact property as compared to the surface treated nanocomposite. The edge treatment of the organoclay showed a well-exfoliated structure as compared to other melt-compounded nanocomposites. Optimizing the molecular weight and the use of laponite instead of montmorillonite did not show any significant improvement in the nanocomposite characteristic.



polymerization, polymers, silane, composite materials


Shabbir, S. (2004). Fundamental studies of in-situ polymerization of nylon-6 nanocomposite (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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