Special Issue "Polymer Clay Nano-composites"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stefano Leporatti

CNR Nanotec-Istituto di Nanotecnologia, Via Monteroni, c/o Campus Ekotecne, 73100 Lecce (LE), Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39-083-231-9829
Interests: nanomedicine; cytomechanics; drug delivery; scanning force microscopy; polymer nanocapsules; halloysite clay nanotubes; drug nanocolloids; nano-micelles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the current state-of-the-art of “Polymer Clay Nano-Composites” for biomedical, anticorrosion, antibacterial, and other applications. Clay–polymer composite nanomaterials is an emerging area of research. Loading polymers with clay particles essentially enhances the composite strength features.

Of particular interests are different nano-assembly methods, such as silane mono and multilayers, polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer assembly, and others. An important development was reached for tubular and fibrous clay nanoparticles, such as halloysite, sepiolite, or imogolite. Polymer clay nanoparticles can be prepared as sheets in 1-nm thicknesses and a-few-hundred-nm wide (like kaolin, and montmorillonite). Fibrous clays reinforce significantly the nano-composites in the assembly with biopolymers and other green polymers leading to functional hybrid bio nano-composites.

Papers are sought that summarize selected areas (reviews) or discuss the latest research in the field (original articles). The scope of the Special Issue comprehensively includes the synthesis and characterization of polymer clay nano-composites used for several applications, including nano-clay polymer composites and hybrid nano-assemblies.

Prof. Stefano Leporatti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Polymer Composites
  • Polymer Clays
  • Nanocomposites
  • Biopolymers
  • Halloysites
  • Montmorillonite
  • Imogolites
  • Sepiolites

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
High Performance Attapulgite/Polypyrrole Nanocomposite Reinforced Polystyrene (PS) Foam Based on Supercritical CO2 Foaming
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11060985
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
CO2 has been regarded as one of the most promising blowing agents for polystyrene (PS) foam due to its non-flammability, low price, nontoxicity, and eco-friendliness. However, the low solubility and fast diffusivity of CO2 in PS hinder its potential applications. In [...] Read more.
CO2 has been regarded as one of the most promising blowing agents for polystyrene (PS) foam due to its non-flammability, low price, nontoxicity, and eco-friendliness. However, the low solubility and fast diffusivity of CO2 in PS hinder its potential applications. In this study, an attapulgite (ATP)/polypyrrole (PPy) nanocomposite was developed using the in situ polymerization method to generate the hierarchical cell texture for the PS foam based on the supercritical CO2 foaming. The results demonstrated that the nanocomposite could act as an efficient CO2 capturer enabling the random release of it during the foaming process. In contrast to the pure PS foam, the ATP/PPy nanocomposite reinforced PS foam is endowed with high cell density (up to 1.9 × 106) and similar thermal conductivity as the neat PS foam, as well as high compression modulus. Therefore, the in situ polymerized ATP/PPy nanocomposite makes supercritical CO2 foaming desired candidate to replace the widely used fluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons as PS blowing agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Cellulose Nanofibrils and Tubular Halloysite as Enhanced Strength Gelation Agents
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050919
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
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Abstract
Silica gels are widely employed in water shutoff services, making them an essential tool in oil well management. Silica nanoparticles may serve as a strengthening additive for polymer hydrogels. In this study, we look at this statement from a different angle: What additives [...] Read more.
Silica gels are widely employed in water shutoff services, making them an essential tool in oil well management. Silica nanoparticles may serve as a strengthening additive for polymer hydrogels. In this study, we look at this statement from a different angle: What additives could be used to increase the strength of silica gels? Colloidal silica gels were prepared with various additives, and gel strength was measured by a Veiler–Rebinder apparatus. We found that cellulose nanofibrils considerably increase the gel strength (from 20–25 to 35–40 kPa), which is comparable with the industrial anionic polymer Praestol 2540. Cellulose nanofibrils can be produced from cheap industrial-grade cellulose with low-cost industrial chemicals and could be partially replaced by the even less expensive halloysite nanoclay. Cellulose nanofibrils produced from renewable sources and naturally occurring halloysite nanoclay could be used as complementary reinforcing agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
The Stability of Intercalated Sericite by Cetyl Trimethylammonium Ion under Different Conditions and the Preparation of Sericite/Polymer Nanocomposites
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050900
Received: 27 April 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 12 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Layered silicates are suitable for use as fillers in nanocomposites based on their particular features, such as large aspect ratio, easy availability, and chemical resistance. Among them, sericite is distinguished for its higher aspect ratio, higher resilience, and ultraviolet shielding and absorption. Previously, [...] Read more.
Layered silicates are suitable for use as fillers in nanocomposites based on their particular features, such as large aspect ratio, easy availability, and chemical resistance. Among them, sericite is distinguished for its higher aspect ratio, higher resilience, and ultraviolet shielding and absorption. Previously, sericite was structure-modified and intercalated by CTAB to expand its interlayer space. The intercalated sericite seems promising for use in the fabrication of polymer/sericite composites or pillared sericite. However, special attention should be paid to the stability of the intercalated sericite because the CTAB inside the layer may be de-intercalated, which would affect the interlayer spacing and its surface properties. In this article, the stability of the sericite intercalated by CTAB was tested by changing different variables, such as different washing solvents, different temperatures, ultrasonic cleaning, and different solution conditions. Finally, sericite/polymer nanocomposites were produced with the stable intercalated sericite, and showed excellent properties compared with pure epoxy resin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Polyamine-Based Organo-Clays for Polluted Water Treatment: Effect of Polyamine Structure and Content
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050897
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
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Abstract
Hybrid materials based on clays and polyamines are supposed to be efficient heavy metals sorbents due to the well-known adsorption behaviour of the clay matrix and to the coordination properties of un-protonated amino groups. For this purpose, a montmorillonite clay was modified with [...] Read more.
Hybrid materials based on clays and polyamines are supposed to be efficient heavy metals sorbents due to the well-known adsorption behaviour of the clay matrix and to the coordination properties of un-protonated amino groups. For this purpose, a montmorillonite clay was modified with three different aliphatic polyamines: L6 and L10 have a linear structure with six and ten amino groups, respectively, while B14 is a branched polyamine with fourteen amino groups. Initial amine concentration was the main parameter investigated and data were fitted with Langmuir and Freundlich models. Interaction mechanisms between clay and amines were deeply investigated by different experimental techniques such as X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), thermal analysis measurements (DTG), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and diffuse reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy. Experimental results showed that the amount of amines efficiently immobilized in the solid phase can be increased by increasing the initial concentration of polyamines in the clay modification process. These data were best fitted by Freundlich model, indicating a presence of surface sites of different nature. In the resulting hybrid materials, neither the accessibility of the NH/NH2 groups of the amines, nor the accessibility of the structural OH of the clay was hindered. Several preliminary tests in La ions’ uptake and release from aqueous solution were also carried out. In the conditions used for this study, total metal ion removal was achieved at sufficiently low linear amine loadings (i.e., 0.45 mmol/gclay for the small L6 amine), suggesting that these hybrid materials are promising for the proposed application in environmental remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Bifunctional Montmorillonite on the Thermal and Tribological Properties of Polystyrene/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050834
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
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Abstract
In this work, the effect of doubly functionalized montmorillonite (MMT) on the structure, morphology, thermal, and tribological characteristics of the resulting polystyrene (PS) nanocomposites was investigated. The modification of the MMT was performed using a cationic surfactant and an anionic surfactant or a [...] Read more.
In this work, the effect of doubly functionalized montmorillonite (MMT) on the structure, morphology, thermal, and tribological characteristics of the resulting polystyrene (PS) nanocomposites was investigated. The modification of the MMT was performed using a cationic surfactant and an anionic surfactant or a silane coupling agent to increase the compatibility with PS matrix. The polystyrene/organo-montmorillonite (PS/OMMT) nanocomposite particles were prepared by soap-free emulsion polymerization. The OMMT was studied using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The structural and morphological changes of PS/OMMT nanocomposites were further characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The thermal stability of all the PS/OMMT nanocomposites was higher than that of the pure PS. The anti-wear properties of the polyalphaolefin (PAO) were significantly improved due to the introduction of the PS/OMMT nanocomposite particles. The nanocomposites prepared by a cationic surfactant and a silane coupling agent exhibited the best thermal stability and tribological performance. Our results provide the valuable insights needed to guide the design of lubrication and friction reducing materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Modification of Montmorillonite with Polyethylene Oxide and Its Use as Support for Pd0 Nanoparticle Catalysts
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050755
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
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Abstract
In this study, montmorillonite (MMT) was modified by intercalating polyethylene oxide (PEO) macromolecules between the interlayer spaces in an MMT-water suspension system. X-ray diffraction results revealed that the galleries of MMT were expanded significantly after intercalation of different loading of PEO. MMT/PEO 80/20 [...] Read more.
In this study, montmorillonite (MMT) was modified by intercalating polyethylene oxide (PEO) macromolecules between the interlayer spaces in an MMT-water suspension system. X-ray diffraction results revealed that the galleries of MMT were expanded significantly after intercalation of different loading of PEO. MMT/PEO 80/20 composite was chosen as the support platform for immobilization of Pd species in preparing novel heterogeneous catalysts. After immobilization of Pd species, the interlayer spacing of MMT/PEO (80/20) (1.52 nm) was further increased to 1.72 nm (Pd2+@MMT/PEO) and 1.73 nm (Pd0@MMT/PEO), confirming the well-immobilization of the Pd species in the interlayer spaces of PEO-modified MMT. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) observation results confirmed that Pd nanoparticles were confined inside the interlayer space of MMT and/or dispersed well on the outer surface of MMT. The conversion of Pd2+ to Pd0 species was evidenced by binding energy characterization with X-ray photo electron spectroscopy (XPS). The microstructure variation caused by the Pd immobilization was sensitively detected by positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) studies. The prepared Pd0@MMT/PEO (0.2/80/20) catalytic composite exhibits good thermal stability up to around 200 °C, and it showed high activities for Heck reactions between aryl iodides and butyl acrylates and could be recycled for five times. The correlations between the microstructure and properties of the [email protected]/PEO catalytic composites were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Fuzzy Optimization on the Synthesis of Chitosan-Graft-Polyacrylic Acid with Montmorillonite as Filler Material: A Case Study
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040738
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 21 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, the synthesis of a chitosan–montmorillonite nanocomposite material grafted with acrylic acid is presented based on its function in a case study analysis. Fuzzy optimization is used for a multi-criteria decision analysis to determine the best desirable swelling capacity (Y [...] Read more.
In this paper, the synthesis of a chitosan–montmorillonite nanocomposite material grafted with acrylic acid is presented based on its function in a case study analysis. Fuzzy optimization is used for a multi-criteria decision analysis to determine the best desirable swelling capacity (YQ) of the material synthesis at its lowest possible variable cost. For YQ, the integrating the result’s cumulative uncertainty is an essential element to investigate the feasibility of the developed model equation. The Pareto set analysis is able to set the appropriate boundary limits for YQ and the variable cost. Two case studies are presented in determining the lowest possible cost: Case 1 for maximum YQ, and Case 2 for minimum YQ. These boundary limits were used in the fuzzy optimization to determine its global optimum results that achieved the overall satisfaction ratings of 67.2% (Case 1) and 52.3% (Case 2). The synthesis of the polyacrylic acid/chitosan material for Case 1 resulted in 305 g/g YQ and 10.8 USD/kg, while Case 2 resulted in 97 g/g YQ and 12.3 USD/kg. Thus, the fuzzy optimization approach proves to be a practical method for examining the best possible compromise solution based on the desired function to adequately synthesize a material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Dental Nanocomposite Resins Filled with Different Clay Nanoparticles
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040730
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Nanotechnology comprises a promising approach towards the update of dental materials.The present study focuses on the reinforcement ofdental nanocomposite resins with diverse organomodified montmorillonite (OMMT) nanofillers. The aim is to investigate whether the presence of functional groups in the chemical structure of the [...] Read more.
Nanotechnology comprises a promising approach towards the update of dental materials.The present study focuses on the reinforcement ofdental nanocomposite resins with diverse organomodified montmorillonite (OMMT) nanofillers. The aim is to investigate whether the presence of functional groups in the chemical structure of the nanoclay organic modifier may virtually influence the physicochemical and/or the mechanical attitude of the dental resin nanocomposites. The structure and morphology of the prepared materials were investigated by means of wide angle X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy analysis. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used to determine the variation of the degree of conversion over time. Measurements of polymerization shrinkage and mechanical properties were conducted with a linear variable displacement transducer apparatus and a dynamometer, respectively. All the obtained nanocomposites revealed intercalated structures and most of them had an extensive filler distribution into the polymer matrix. Polymerization kinetics werefound to be influenced by the variance of the clay organomodifier, whilenanoclays with vinyl groups considerably increased the degree of conversion. Polymerization shrinkage was almost limited up to 50% by incorporating nanoclays. The absence of reactive groups in the OMMT structure may retain setting contraction atlow levels. An enhancement of the flexural modulus was observed, mainly by using clay nanoparticles decorated with methacrylated groups, along with a decrease in the flexural strength at a high filler loading. The overall best performance was found for the nanocomposites with OMMTs containing double bonds. The significance of the current work relies on providing novel information about chemical interactions phenomena between nanofillers and the organic matrix towards the improvement of dental restorative materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Clay Polymer Nanocomposites of P(4VP-co-AAm) and Their Application for the Removal of Atrazine
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040721
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
Atrazine (ATZ) is an herbicide which is applied to the soil, and its mechanism of action involves the inhibition of photosynthesis. One of its main functions is to control the appearance of weeds in crops, primarily in corn, sorghum, sugar cane, and wheat; [...] Read more.
Atrazine (ATZ) is an herbicide which is applied to the soil, and its mechanism of action involves the inhibition of photosynthesis. One of its main functions is to control the appearance of weeds in crops, primarily in corn, sorghum, sugar cane, and wheat; however, it is very toxic for numerous species, including humans. Therefore, this work deals with the adsorption of ATZ from aqueous solutions using nanocomposite materials, synthesized with two different types of organo-modified clays. Those were obtained by the free radical polymerization of 4-vinylpyridine (4VP) and acrylamide (AAm) in different stoichiometric ratios, using tetrabutylphosphonium persulfate (TBPPS) as a radical initiator and N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (BIS) as cross-linking agent. The structural, morphological, and textural characteristics of clays, copolymers, and nanocomposites were determined through different analytical and instrumental techniques, i.e., X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Adsorption kinetics experiments of ATZ were determined with the modified and synthesized materials, and the effect of the ratio between 4VP and AAm moieties on the removal capacities of the obtained nanocomposites was evaluated. Finally, from these sets of experiments, it was demonstrated that the synthesized nanocomposites with higher molar fractions of 4VP obtained the highest removal percentages of ATZ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Buildup of Multi-Ionic Supramolecular Network Facilitated by In-Situ Intercalated Organic Montmorillonite in 1,2-Polybutadiene
Polymers 2019, 11(3), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030492
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
The development of a sacrificial bond provided unique inspiration for the design of advanced elastomers with excellent mechanical properties, but it is still a huge challenge to construct a homogenous polar sacrificial network in a nonpolar elastomer. In this effort, we proposed a [...] Read more.
The development of a sacrificial bond provided unique inspiration for the design of advanced elastomers with excellent mechanical properties, but it is still a huge challenge to construct a homogenous polar sacrificial network in a nonpolar elastomer. In this effort, we proposed a novel strategy to engineer a multi-ionic network into a covalently cross-linked 1,2-polybutadiene (1,2-PB) facilitated by in-situ intercalated organic montmorillonite (OMMT) without phase separation. XRD, SEM, and TEM analysis were carried out to characterize the microstructure of the resulting polymers. Crosslinking density, dielectric performance, and cyclic tensile tests were used to demonstrate the interaction of zinc methacrylate (ZDMA) and OMMT. The dynamic nature of ionic bonds allowed it to rupture and reform to dissipate energy efficiently. Stretching orientation brought parallelism between polymer chains and OMMT layers which was beneficial for the reconstruction of the ionic network, ultimately resulting in high strength and a low stress relaxation rate. Overall, our work presented the design of a uniform and strong sacrificial network in the nano-clay/elastomer nanocomposite with outstanding mechanical performances under both static and dynamic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Hyaluronic Acid-Decorated Laponite® Nanocomposites for Targeted Anticancer Drug Delivery
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010137
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural polysaccharide that can specifically bind to CD44 receptors, was conjugated onto laponite® (LAP) nanodisks for the encapsulation and specific delivery of the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) to CD44-overexpressed cancer cells. The prepared LM-HA could [...] Read more.
In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural polysaccharide that can specifically bind to CD44 receptors, was conjugated onto laponite® (LAP) nanodisks for the encapsulation and specific delivery of the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) to CD44-overexpressed cancer cells. The prepared LM-HA could encapsulate DOX efficiently and release drug in a continuous manner with pH-responsiveness. In vitro cell viability assay proved that LM-HA had good biocompatibility, and drug-loaded LM-HA/DOX exhibited targeted anti-tumor effects against HeLa cells with CD44 receptors overexpressed. In addition, the flow cytometric detection and confocal laser scanning microscope results confirmed that LM-HA/DOX could be specifically internalized by HeLa cells via CD44-mediated endocytosis. Therefore, the HA-modified LAP nanodisks with high drug loading efficiency, pH-sensitive drug release properties and CD44 targetability might be an efficient nanoplatform for cancer chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Synergistic Effect of Halloysite Nanotubes and Glycerol on the Physical Properties of Fish Gelatin Films
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111258
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
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Abstract
Fish gelatin (FG)/glycerol (GE)/halloysite (HT) composite films were prepared by casting method. The morphology of the composite films was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effects of HT and GE addition on the mechanical properties, water resistance and optical properties of the [...] Read more.
Fish gelatin (FG)/glycerol (GE)/halloysite (HT) composite films were prepared by casting method. The morphology of the composite films was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effects of HT and GE addition on the mechanical properties, water resistance and optical properties of the composites were investigated. Results showed that with increasing GE content, the elongation at composite breaks increased significantly, but their tensile strength (TS) and water resistance decreased. SEM results showed that GE can partly promote HT dispersion in composites. TS and water resistance also increased with the addition of HTs. Well-dispersed HTs in the FG matrix decreased the moisture uptake and water solubility of the composites. All films showed a transparency higher than 80% across the visible light region (400–800 nm), thereby indicating that light transmittance of the resulting nanocomposites was slightly affected by GE and HTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Grafting Halloysite Nanotubes with Amino or Carboxyl Groups onto Carbon Fiber Surface for Excellent Interfacial Properties of Silicone Resin Composites
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101171
Received: 5 October 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The quality of interphase in carbon fibers (CFs) composites makes a key contribution to overall performance of composites. Here, we achieved for the first time the chemical grafting of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) with amino or carboxyl groups onto the CFs surface aiming to [...] Read more.
The quality of interphase in carbon fibers (CFs) composites makes a key contribution to overall performance of composites. Here, we achieved for the first time the chemical grafting of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) with amino or carboxyl groups onto the CFs surface aiming to increase composites interfacial strength. HNTs were grafted using 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APS) followed by succinic anhydride treatment, and HNTs with amino groups (HNT–NH2) or carboxyl groups (HNT–COOH) were separately introduced into the interphase of composites. Functional groups of HNTs and fiber surface structures were characterized, which confirmed the modification success. The wettability between the modified CFs and resin have been enhanced obviously based on the improved fiber polarity and enhanced surface roughness by the introduced two functionalized HNTs with the uniform distributions onto fiber surface. Moreover, interfacial properties and anti-hydrothermal aging behaviors of modified methylphenylsilicone resin (MPSR) composites were improved significantly, especially for HNT–COOH grafting. In addition, the interfacial reinforcement mechanisms for untreated and modified CF composites are discussed and compared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Open AccessCommunication
Nanoscale Mechanical Properties and Indentation Recovery of [email protected] Composites Measured Using AFM
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10091020
Received: 24 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
[email protected] oxide ([email protected]) composites were prepared by way of a simple solution blending method. The nanoscale hardness and Young’s modulus of the composites were measured using nanoindentation based on atomic force microscopy (AFM). A nanoscale hardness of ~0.65 GPa and an elastic modulus [...] Read more.
[email protected] oxide ([email protected]) composites were prepared by way of a simple solution blending method. The nanoscale hardness and Young’s modulus of the composites were measured using nanoindentation based on atomic force microscopy (AFM). A nanoscale hardness of ~0.65 GPa and an elastic modulus of ~6.5 GPa were reached with a load of ~55 μN. The indentation recovery on the surface of [email protected] was evaluated. The results show that relatively low GO content can remarkably improve the nanoscale mechanical properties of PI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Advances in Halloysite Nanotubes–Polysaccharide Nanocomposite Preparation and Applications
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11060987
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs), novel 1D natural materials with a unique tubular nanostructure, large aspect ratio, biocompatibility, and high mechanical strength, are promising nanofillers to improve the properties of polymers. In this review, we summarize the recent progress toward the development of polysaccharide-HNTs composites, [...] Read more.
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs), novel 1D natural materials with a unique tubular nanostructure, large aspect ratio, biocompatibility, and high mechanical strength, are promising nanofillers to improve the properties of polymers. In this review, we summarize the recent progress toward the development of polysaccharide-HNTs composites, paying attention to the main existence forms and wastewater treatment application particularly. The purification of HNTs and fabrication of the composites are discussed first. Polysaccharides, such as alginate, chitosan, starch, and cellulose, reinforced with HNTs show improved mechanical, thermal, and swelling properties. Finally, we summarize the unique characteristics of polysaccharide-HNTs composites and review the recent development of the practical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Clay Nano-composites)
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