Bio-based polymer nanocomposites based on layered silicates having a reactive and renewable intercalant
Soybean oil-based polymer nanocomposites were synthesized from acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO) combined with styrene monomer and montmorillonite (MMT) clay by using in situ free radical polymerization reaction. Special attention was paid to the modification of MMT clay, which was carried out by methacryl-functionalized and quaternized derivative of methyl oleate intercalant. It was synthesized from olive oil triglyceride, as a renewable intercalant. The resultant nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The effect of increased nanofiller loading in thermal and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites was investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The nanocomposites exhibited improved thermal and dynamic mechanical properties compared with neat acrylated epoxidized soybean oil based polymer matrix. The desired exfoliated nanocomposite structure was achieved when the OrgMMT loading was 1 and 2 wt % whereas partially exfoliated nanocomposite was obtained in 3 wt % loading. It was found that about 400 and 500% increments in storage modulus at glass transition and rubbery regions, respectively were achieved at 2 wt % clay loading compared to neat polymer matrix while the lowest thermal degradation rate was gained by introducing 3 wt % clay loading. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.