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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 341056, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/341056
Research Article

Role of Polymer Interactions with Clays and Modifiers on Nanomechanical Properties and Crystallinity in Polymer Clay Nanocomposites

Department of Civil Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA

Received 20 January 2012; Revised 10 April 2012; Accepted 11 April 2012

Academic Editor: Sevan P. Davtyan

Copyright © 2012 Dinesh R. Katti 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

We present the effect of organic modifier on crystallinity and nanomechanical properties of polymer clay nanocomposites (PCNs) using two different polymers while maintaining the same nanoclay and organic modifier. Experimental results and interaction energy maps of Polybutylene-Terephthalate- (PBT-) PCN system indicate that the underlying mechanisms of change in crystallinity and improvement in mechanical properties as proposed in altered phase theory are valid. Experimental and molecular simulation studies of PBT-PCN and Nylon6-PCN reveal that a higher crystallinity polymer could require significantly higher attractive and repulsive interaction energies between polymer and organic modifiers to change the crystallinity of the polymer in the PCN significantly and thus improve mechanical properties of the PCN.