Use of Different Alkylammonium Salts in Clay Surface Modification for Epoxy-Based Nanocomposites

Nakas G. I., KAYNAK C.

POLYMER COMPOSITES, vol.30, no.3, pp.357-363, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pc.20667
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.357-363
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Layered silicates become widely used reinforcement material in the polymer nanocomposite production in recent years due to their high aspect ratio, ease of processing, and low cost. In this present study, the aim was to evaluate the usability of a raw clay source (Resadiye, Turkey) in the production of epoxy/clay nanocomposites and to investigate the effects of different surface modifiers. For this purpose, raw Namontmorillonite clay was first purified and then surface modified by using different types of alkylammonium salts: tetramethyl ammonium bromide, benzyl triethyl ammonium bromide, dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide, hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide, and octadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide. Purification and surface modification of this clay were evaluated by using the following analyses; X-ray diffraction (XRD), cation exchange capacity (CEC), particle size distribution, and dissolved organic content. These analyses simply indicated that surface modification increased both interlayer spacing between the silicate layers and CEC of the clay. These improvements were directly proportional with the chain length of the surface modifier. Nanocomposite specimens were produced by adding 0.5 wt% surface modified clay into the epoxy matrix. These specimens were characterized by XRD, Si-mapping facility of SEM, and mechanical tests. XRD results indicated an exfoliated structure whereas Si-mapping showed the uniform distribution of clay particles in epoxy, leading to improved mechanical properties, for instance more than 100% increase in fracture toughness of the neat epoxy specimen. POLYM. COMPOS., 30:357-363, 2009. (C) 2008 Society of Plastics Engineers