Morphology and elastic modulus of novel poly[oligo(ethylene glycol) diacrylate]-montmorillonite nanocomposites

Biqiong Chen, Allen A. Bowden, H. Chris Greenwell, Pascal Boulet, Peter V. Coveney, Andrew Whiting, Julian R.G. Evans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Novel thermosetting poly[oligo(ethylene glycol) diacrylatel-sodium mont-morillonite nanocomposites containing a range of clay volume fractions were prepared by an in situ polymerization method. X-ray diffraction showed that the basal plane spacing of the clay was increased to approximately 1.7 nm regardless of clay volume fraction. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the basal spacing and intercalated structure. The elastic moduli of the composites were measured using ultrasonic pulse-echo equipment. The results show that the Young's modulus and shear modulus increase with nominal clay volume fraction up to 0.22, and are in good agreement with the well-established Christensen method and derived Hashin-Shtrikman bounds for conventional composites provided that the true volume fraction of clay reinforcement filler is calculated. At low clay volume fractions, the composites were transparent. When the nominal clay volume fraction was further increased, cracks and porous surfaces appeared, as observed by scanning electron microscopy. These defects decreased the elastic modulus, indicating an upper limit for clay additions in this preparation route.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1785-1793
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Clay
  • Elastic properties
  • Nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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