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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 792080, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/792080
Research Article

Rheology, Mechanical Properties, and Thermal Stability of Maleated Polyethylene Filled with Nanoclays

Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), P.O. Box 68, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Received 1 August 2015; Revised 28 September 2015; Accepted 20 October 2015

Academic Editor: Yibing Cai

Copyright © 2015 Abdulhadi A. Al-Juhani. 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

Maleated polyethylene (MAPE) was used in this study as a model matrix for hosting hydrophobic nanoclay (C15A) and hydrophilic nanoclay (C30B), to investigate the effect of nanoclay loading on the bulk properties of the composites. Composites were prepared by melt-blending technique, with varying the loading from 0 to 9 wt.%. Tensile, oxidative TGA, and FE-SEM tests were employed for both C15A-filled polymer and C30B-filled polymer, which confirmed that C15A had better dispersion and was much superior to C30B for enhancing the mechanical properties and thermal stability of MAPE. Consequently, XRD and melt rheology tests were performed for C15A-filled polymer only. XRD confirmed the formation of nanocomposite structure, which could be the main reason for the significant increase in the thermal stability and viscosity. For example, compared to the neat polymer, the degradation temperature at the 20% mass loss was increased by 72°C after the addition of 5 wt.% C15A. Based on rheological analysis, the percolation threshold was around 3 wt.% loading of C15A. Fitting the viscosity data to the Cross model suggested that increasing C15A loading had a strong effect for increasing the shear thinning index and relaxation time of the nanocomposites.