The effect of various loading levels of nanoclay reinforcement on the nanomechanical properties of layered silicate nanoclay reinforced unsaturated polyester (UPE) nanocomposites were investigated by a nano-indentation test method. The clay was dispersed into a UPE matrix via blending using a mechanical stirrer. Structural studies were carried out using a wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) method and correlated with the nanoindentation results. This shows that nanoindentation behaviour is strongly influenced by clay reinforcement and the degree of clay dispersion in the polymer matrix. The experimental results show that there is a strong correlation between nanomechanical properties and inter layer d-spacing of clay particles in the nanocomposite system. Incorporation of 1%, 3% and 5% by weight nanoclay into the polyester resin results in an improvement in hardness of 29%, 24% and 14%, respectively. The elastic modulus increased from 5393MPa for unreinforced polyester to 6646MPa (23% increase) with the introduction of 5% by weight nanoclay.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Jul 2006|