Alkylcarboxylate-modified layered double hydroxides (LDH) were prepared and used as nanofillers for poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and polystyrene (PS). The LDH intercalated with long-chain linear alkyl carboxylates (CH3(CH2)nCOO−, n = 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20) were prepared via anionic exchange of MgAl–nitrate, showing a systematic increase in basal spacing with longer alkyls. MgAl–undecenoate LDH was prepared by co-precipitation. The MgAl–LDHs were melt blended with poly(methyl methacrylate) and bulk polymerized with styrene to form nanocomposites. The dispersion of the MgAl–LDH in the polymers was investigated by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Thermal and fire properties were studied using cone calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis; the thermal stability of both polymers was enhanced and a very significant reduction in the peak heat release rate was observed for almost all of the poly(methyl methacrylate) composites and a few of the polystyrene composites.
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Journal of Materials Chemistry
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