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Nylon 6 Nanocomposite Materials with Improved Structure & Properties.

Technology #inv212092014

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Researchers
Adham Ramadan
Amal Esawi
Ahmed Abdel Gawad
Managed By
Ahmed Ellaithy
Director, Technology Transfer +20226153112
Ingy Darwish
Licensing Officer +20226153130
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending US14/371,502

Application

The Nylon 6 nanocomposites can be used in high-barrier-packaging applications in the food and beverage industry, for gears, fittings and bearings in the automotive industry, and in making pipe and wire/cable coatings.

Problem

The primary challenge in the synthesis of clay-polymer nanocomposites lies in the limited chemical compatibility between the clay layers (inorganic in nature) and the polymeric chains (organic in nature). In order to overcome this, clays are commonly “treated” with organic modifiers, typically alkylammonium ions of different structures and sizes.

In addition to influencing the interaction with the polymer matrix, different organic modifiers are used in different concentrations in order to increase the gallery spacing between the clay layers. An expanded spacing is found to facilitate the exfoliation process (delamination of the clay layer).

Organically modified clays (such as Cloisite 15A, Cloisite 20A, and Na+ montmorillonite) proved to be challenging in producing nanocomposites due to lower (or for the case of Na+ montmorillonite, no) compatibility with polymeric matrices. In this respect, novel approaches are desirable to aid the exfoliation of clays in order to facilitate the formation of nanocomposites with polymeric matrices.

Technology

The invention is a new solution blending process for the fabrication of nanocomposites based on nylon 6 and montmorillonite clays. The process uses a flushing medium to ensure solvent-free material. It leads to improved exfoliation and dispersion of montmorillonite clay layers within the nylon 6 polymer matrix, overcoming the possible problem of polymer degradation, as well as the limitation of low/no compatibility between the montmorillonite clays and the nylon 6 polymer.

The process can also be combined with conventional polymer processing techniques to produce molded parts of any shape as well as thin films.

Advantages

  • Enhanced exfoliation and dispersion of clay layers
  • Enhanced mechanical properties (stiffness, yield strength, wear resistance,..) with very low clay content. 
  • Improved resistance to organic solvents
  • Increase in the heat distortion temperature and reduction in the thermal expansion coefficient. 
  • Flame retardant properties.
  • Good optical properties.