Infoscience

Journal article

Small strain mechanical properties of latex-based nanocomposite films

A waterborne latex-based technique, in which functionalized laponite is attached to PS and acrylic latex particles, is used to prepare films containing up to 50 wt% laponite. At high laponite contents this leads to a cellular arrangement of the laponite-rich layers, concentrated at the latex particle interfaces. MDSC shows that a significant proportion of the organic matrix does not contribute to the glass transition. However, this "rigid" matrix fraction arises from intercalation of the laponite stacks, and cannot account for the large increases in global stiffness in the rubbery state (T> T g) on laponite addition. The mechanical response for T> T g is therefore discussed in terms of a four-phase structure, in which the intercalated laponite stacks embedded in a matrix with a relatively high rubbery modulus form a cellular structure, which is in turn embedded in a matrix whose modulus is closer to that of the bulk polymer. The importance of the cellular arrangement is underlined by the much lower rubbery modulus observed by DMA in specimens produced by deforming the original films in plane strain compression to produce oriented textures with relatively little connectivity between the laponite-rich layers. Copyright © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

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