Submitted to: Polymer Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/8/2005
Publication Date: 9/19/2005
Citation: Liu, Z., Erhan, S.Z., Xu, J. 2005. Preparation, characterization and mechanical properties of epoxidized soybean oil/clay nanocomposites. Polymer. 46:10119-10127. Interpretive Summary: The importance of polymeric materials from renewable resources for industrial applications becomes very clear with increasing social emphasis on the issues of environment, waste disposal and depleting non-renewable resources. Development of economically feasible new industrial products from soybean oil is highly desirable. The purpose of this work is to investigate the preparation, characterization and mechanical properties of soy/clay nanocomposites. The effects of clay content and the amount of curing agent on the mechanical properties of composites are studied. The results show the soy-based nanocomposites with relatively strong mechanical properties. These materials may show promise as an alternative to petrochemical polymers.
Technical Abstract: New epoxidized soybean oil(ESO)/clay nanocomposites have been prepared with a triethylenetetramine (TETA) curing agent. The dispersion of the clay layers are investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). XRD and TEM data reveal that the intercalated structure of ESO/clay nanocomposites has been developed. The thermogravimetric analysis shows that the ESO/clay nanocomposites are thermally stable at temperatures lower than 180 deg C, with the maximum weight loss rate at approximately 325 deg C. The glass transition temperature of Tg, about 7.5 deg C measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) has been obtained. Tg, about 20 deg C has also been obtained from dynamic mechanical study. The difference of Tg between DSC and dynamic measurements may be caused by a different heating rate. The Young's modulus (E) of these materials varies from 1.20 MPa to 3.64 MPa with clay content ranging from 0 wt.% to 10 wt.%. The ratio of epoxy (ESO) to hydrogen (amino group of TETA) greatly affects dynamic and tensile mechanical properties. With a higher amount of TETA, the nanocomposites exhibit better tensile and dynamic properties.