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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2015, Article ID 698738, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/698738
Research Article

Physical, Mechanical, and Thermal Analysis of Polylactic Acid/Fumed Silica/Clay (1.28E) Nanocomposites

1Department of Chemical Engineering and Energy Sustainability, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Received 28 September 2015; Revised 9 December 2015; Accepted 10 December 2015

Academic Editor: Jean-Marc Saiter

Copyright © 2015 Josephine Chang Hui Lai 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

Polylactic acid/fumed silica/clay (PLA/FS/clay) (1.28E) nanocomposites have been successfully prepared by solution-intercalation film-casting technique. The resultant nanocomposites were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), tensile test, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and moisture absorption test. The FT-IR spectrum indicated that PLA/FS/clay with 2 wt% had much broader peak compared to 5 wt%, 10 wt%, and 15 wt% nanocomposites. Incorporation of clay (1.28E) with 2 wt% showed the best compatibility with PLA/FS matrix. PLA/FS/clay (1.28E) nanocomposite with 2 wt% of clay loading had higher tensile strength and modulus compared to other nanocomposites. The thermal stability and activation energy of 2 wt% of PLA/FS/clay (1.28E) nanocomposite are the highest among all the nanocomposites. The moisture absorbed into PLA/FS/clay (1.28E) nanocomposite was significantly reduced with clay loading of 2 wt%.