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Polymers 2017, 9(8), 314; doi:10.3390/polym9080314

Biodegradation of Halloysite Nanotubes-Polyester Nanocomposites Exposed to Short Term Seawater Immersion

Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
Institute of Product Design and Manufacturing (UniKL IPROM), Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs)-polyester nanocomposites with four different concentrations were produced using solution casting technique and the biodegradation effect of short-term seawater exposure (120 h) was studied. Monolithic polyester was observed to have the highest seawater absorption with 1.37%. At 0.3 wt % HNTs reinforcement, the seawater absorption dropped significantly to the lowest value of 0.77% due to increase of liquid diffusion path. For samples tested in dry conditions, the Tg, storage modulus, tensile properties and flexural properties were improved. The highest improvement of Tg was from 79.3 to 82.4 °C (increase 3.1 °C) in the case of 0.3 wt % HNTs. This can be associated with the exfoliated HNTs particles, which restrict the mobility of polymer chains and thus raised the Tg. After seawater exposure, the Tg, storage modulus, tensile properties and flexural properties of polyester and its nanocomposites were decreased. The Young’s modulus of 0.3 wt % HNTs-polyester dropped 20% while monolithic polyester dropped up to 24% compared to their values in dry condition. Apart from that, 29% flexural modulus reduction was observed, which was 18% higher than monolithic polyester. In contrast, fracture toughness and surface roughness increased due to plasticization effect. The presence of various microbial communities caused gradual biodegradation on the microstructure of the polyester matrix as also evidently shown by SEM images. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodegradation; polyester-nanocomposites; halloysite nanotubes; seawater biodegradation; polyester-nanocomposites; halloysite nanotubes; seawater

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Saharudin, M.S.; Wei, J.; Shyha, I.; Inam, F. Biodegradation of Halloysite Nanotubes-Polyester Nanocomposites Exposed to Short Term Seawater Immersion. Polymers 2017, 9, 314.

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