During the last decade, the nanocomposites based on layered silicate are widely studied and attracted the industrial and academic research. The effect of various loading levels of layered silicate reinforcement on the mechanical and thermal properties was studied by nano-indentation, flexural testing, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The maximum hardness (H), increased from 67 MPa for neat Spent DuraForm EX up to 170 MPa with 7 wt.% layered silicate-reinforced sample. The measured modulus (E), of unreinforced Spent DuraForm increased from 631 MPa to 2100 MPa with 7 wt.% layered silicate reinforcement. The thermal property of the EX nanocomposites revealed by DSC was improved by about 6˚C up to 7 wt.% of layered silicate loading. Different levels of layered silicates dispersion as characterized using TEM and SEM correlated strongly with improvements in nanohardness and thermal properties. The improved hardness, modulus, crystalline and melting temperatures of Spent DuraForm EX nanocomposites are attributed mainly to the intercalated structures.
- Transmission electron microscope (TEM)