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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 789815, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/789815
Research Article

The Effect of Ultrasonic Treatment on Thermal Stability of the Cured Epoxy/Layered Silicate Nanocomposite

1Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, 43000 Bangi, Malaysia
2Department of Material Science, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, 43000 Bangi, Malaysia
3 Crop Improvement and Protection Unit, Rubber Research Institute-Experimental Station, 47000 Sungai Buloh, Malaysia

Received 6 September 2011; Revised 20 January 2012; Accepted 20 January 2012

Academic Editor: Wen-Hua Sun

Copyright © 2012 N. Y. Yuhana et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effect of ultrasonic treatment on thermal stability of binary systems containing epoxy and organic chemically modified montmorillonite (Cloisite 30B) was studied. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) analysis were utilized. The mixing of epoxy and Cloisite 30B nanocomposites was performed by mechanical stirring, followed by 1 or 3-hour ultrasonic treatment, and polyetheramine as the curing agent. Both XRD and TEM analyses confirmed that the intercalation of Cloisite 30B was achieved. The spacings for silicate in cured sample prepared at 1- and 3-hour duration of ultrasonic treatment were about 21 and 18 Å, respectively. This shows that shorter duration or ultrasonic treatment may be preferable to achieve higher spacing of clay. This may be attributed to the increase in viscosity as homopolymerization process occurred, which restricts silicate dispersion. The 1-hour sonicated samples seem to be more thermally stable during the glass transition, but less stable during thermal decomposition process.