Chlorinated polyethylene (CPE)/ethylene methacrylate copolymer (EMA)/sepiolite nanocomposite via a facile one-step covalent modification technique
The work reports a facile one step covalent modification technique of sepiolite needles by in situ polymerization of ε-caprolactone. The effective modification of sepiolite was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), High Resolution-Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR-TEM) and water contact angle measurements. Nanocomposites of chlorinated polyethylene (CPE)/ethylene methacrylate copolymer (EMA) blend (60/40 ratio) were prepared by melt mixing the polymer blend with the pristine and poly(ε-caprolactone) modified sepiolite (PCL-g-SP). For the ease of comparison, equal filler content in both the nanocomposites was maintained (5 wt%). The effect of modified sepiolite on the mechanical and thermal properties of CPE/EMA blend of 60/40 ratio was precisely studied by ultimate tensile testing, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The modified sepiolite based nanocomposite showed a considerable improvement of 47.77% in ultimate tensile strength over the neat blend. Besides, a high char yield content of both the nanocomposites, increments of 38.4% and 39.6% in the initial degradation temperature (Ti) values of pristine and modified sepiolite based nanocomposites respectively were observed compared to the neat blend system.