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Effect of montmorillonite on morphology, rheology, and properties of a poly[styrene–(ethylene-co-butylene)–styrene]/poly(ɛ-caprolactone) nanocomposite

Li, Xiaoyan, Huang, Kai, Wang, Xue, Li, Hui, Shen, Wanting, Zhou, Xiaoqing, Xu, Jianjun, Wang, Xia
Journal of materials science 2018 v.53 no.2 pp. 1191-1203
blood platelets, composite polymers, crystal structure, crystallization, hydrogen bonding, melting, mixing, montmorillonite, nanocomposites, rheological properties, rheology
In this study, a nanocomposite of poly[styrene–(ethylene-co-butylene)–styrene] triblock copolymer (SEBS) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) blend modified with an alkyl phosphonium salt-intercalated organic montmorillonite (OMMT) was prepared by melt mixing. The effect of OMMT and the compatibilizer SEBS-MA on structure, morphology, rheological behavior, and crystallization properties of the SEBS/PCL nanocomposites was studied. Better dispersion of PCL domains in SEBS matrix was achieved after adding 5 wt% SEBS-MA, with the crystallinity of the PCL increased considerably. Compared with pristine montmorillonite, the SEBS/PCL composite with OMMT showed a more uniform dispersion. Meanwhile, the OMMT platelets were preferentially dispersed at outer edge of the PCL domains with intercalated structure. Good interfacial interaction between the OMMT and the SEBS/PCL matrix was suggested, with occurrence of intermolecular hydrogen bonding between the PCL and the OMMT. The prepared SEBS/PCL/OMMT nanocomposite displayed significantly improved mechanical, anti-water-absorption, and anti-UV-irradiation properties, which can be attributed to its unique morphology. These superior properties of the SEBS/PCL/OMMT nanocomposite are important for both environmental and biomedical applications.