Processing - Morphology regulation of epoxy/layered-silicate nanocomposites

Ggang Chen, Tia Benson-Tolle, Jeffery W. Baur, Sirina Putthanarat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymer/layered-silicate nanocomposites have unique and hierarchical structures that can provide improvements to the properties of polymeric materials. Controlling the dispersion of the nanomaterials through processing greatly influences the resulting morphology and the resulting properties of the nanocomposite. In this article, the dispersion behavior of organic layered silicates (OLS) as a function of the processing procedure is reported. The behavior of the OLS in all stages of processing - in the solvent, the epoxy prepolymer, and in the epoxy through cure - is discussed. On the basis of understanding of the dispersion behavior of the OLS in the epoxy resin at each stage of processing, a different processing procedure can be designed and used so that the morphology of the epoxy/layered-silicate nanocomposite can be regulated. Mild low-shear processing resulted in an intercalated nanocomposite with large-size aggregates (> 10 μm), and high-shear processing resulted in an intercalated nanocomposite with relatively small-size aggregates (0.5-3 μm), whereas the high-shear and ultrasonication processing procedures gave rise to an exfoliated nanocomposite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3324-3333
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 5 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Morphology
  • Processing
  • SAXS
  • TEM
  • Thermosets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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