Title : A comparative study of solvent blended EDPM / neoprene clay nanocomposites showing progressive thermal and mechanical properties
Nanocomposites have definite advantages over conventional composites due to their light weight, low cost and excellent mechanical, thermal, optical and electrical properties. Clays and layered silicates are well suited for this purpose as they provide polymer-clay nanocomposites (PCNs) and polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites (PLSNs). Elastomers and rubbers are very promising polymeric matrices for the preparation of PCNs because of their multi-characteristic applications. Non-polar EPDM demands polar inducement in the form of compatibilizing agents for getting a homogeneous blend with neoprene. EPDM/neoprene matrices are prepared by solvent blending without any compatibilizing agents. Morphological studies and single Tg values have established an excellent compatibility of the blend, further confirmed by their enhanced mechanical characteristics. Organo-modified MMT Clay (CA-MMT) and locally available Kaolinite have been filled in the EPDM/ Neoprene matrices to prepare their respective nanocomposites. The CA-MMT is adjudged as the most efficient filler as shown by the comparative studies, even though kaolinite too has shown comparable characteristics in a few cases. It is suggested that kaolinite could be a promising filler to be modified further to attain still better results.