Matrix–filler interactions and solvent sorption features of nanohydroxyapatite (nHA) embedded ethylene-co-vinyl acetate (EVA)–millable polyurethane (MPU) blends
We report the solvent sorption features and matrix filler interactions of nanohydroxyapatite (nHA) embedded ethylene-co-vinyl acetate (EVA)–millable polyurethane (MPU) blends, using toluene, xylene, and t-butylacetate as probe molecules. The EVA/MPU blends were initially loaded with different quantities of n-HA, and the interfacial interactions were evaluated through FTIR and XRD techniques. The modulation of solvent resistance was subsequently examined in terms of filler loading, temperature and molar volume of the probes. With an increase in the amount of nHA, the solvent resistance of the matrix has been found to be enhanced, with the mechanism of transport regularly deviating from the conventional Fickian mode normally followed by elastomer matrices. The Flory–Rehner equation was employed to compute the molecular mass between crosslinks (Mc) and the crosslink density (γ). The observed enhancement in the crosslink density and the degree of reinforcement has been attributed to the increased polar–polar interactions after nHA loading into the matrix. The experimentally obtained values of Mc have been compared with phantom and affine models, to identify the type of deformation happening under solvent stress. The reinforcement effect within the matrix, as a function of filler loading, has been verified by using the Kraus equation. The swelling resistance of the composites has also been verified in biological fluids in view of the possible biofield applications of the composites.