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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 189386, 8 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Nanoclay on Dust Generation during Drilling of PA6 Nanocomposites

1Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
2Cranfield Health, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
3Department of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers, Cracow University of Technology, 31-155 Krakow, Poland
4R&D Department, Laviosa Chimica Mineraria, Via Leonardo da Vinci, 21 I-57123 Livorno, Italy
5RTD Department, INKOA SISTEMAS, SL, Bizkaia, 48950 Erandio, Spain
6Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 9 Leontovicha Street, Kiev 01601, Ukraine

Received 20 January 2012; Revised 3 April 2012; Accepted 6 April 2012

Academic Editor: Sevan P. Davtyan

Copyright © 2012 Sophia Sachse 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.


During the past decade, polymer nanocomposites have emerged as a novel and rapidly developing class of materials and attracted considerable investment in research and development worldwide. However, there is currently a lack of information available in the literature on the nano and ultrafine particle emission rates from these materials. In this paper, influence of nanoclay on mechanical drilling of PA6 composites, in terms of dust generation, has been reported. With the help of real-time characterization, submicrometer-sized particles (5.6–512 nm), size distribution, and number concentration emitted from polyamide 6/nanoclay composites during mechanical drilling are studied. Total particle concentration for the PA6/nanoclay composites was 20,000 cm−3, while unreinforced panel measured a total concentration of approximately 400,000 cm−3. While the airborne particle concentration for the PA6/nanoclay composites was 20 times lower than for the PA6 matrix, the concentration of deposited nanoparticles doubled for the nanocomposite. The results clearly show that more particles in the size range between 175 and 350 nm are generated, during drilling of the nanocomposites, and these particles deposit in a shorter time. It is likely that the presence of nanoclay in some way retains the formation of high quantity of airborne particles and promotes particle deposition.