Authors Costa, F. R. ; Satapathy, B.K. ; Wagenknecht, U. ; Weidisch, R. ; Heinrich, G.
Title Morphology and fracture behaviour of polyethylene/Mg-Al layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanocomposites
Date 24.08.2006
Number 14085
Abstract Fracture behaviour of polyethylene (PE)/Mg–Al layered double hydroxide (LDH) based nanocomposites has been studied by essential work of fracture (EWF) approach. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis have been used to investigate the morphological features of these nanocomposites. A maximum in the non-essential work of fracture was observed at 5 wt.% LDH demonstrating enhanced resistance to crack propagation compared to pure PE. Morphological analyses of the nanocomposites show that the dispersed LDH platelets are partially exfoliated and also forms clusters with polymer chains remaining entrapped within. Rheological analyses show that the typical low-frequency Newtonian flow behaviour, as observed in unfilled polymer, shifts to shear-thinning behaviour with increasing LDH concentration. At 5 wt.% LDH a ductile-to-brittle transition has been observed. Fracture surface investigation by SEM reveals the arresting of the plastic crack growth by the LDH particle clusters, which is more significant at 5 wt.% LDH content. At higher LDH concentrations, the number of such particle clusters increases causing decrease in the average distance between them. As a result large-scale plastic deformation of the matrix at higher LDH concentration is effectively arrested favouring small strain failure and this in turn reaffirms the possible existence of a ductile-to-brittle transition. The study in general reveals that the resistance against crack initiation (essential work of fracture: EWF) and crack propagation (non-essential work of fracture: ßwp) in these nanocomposites are structurally correlated with the matrix behaviour and the morphology (state of LDH particle dispersion) respectively.
Publisher European Polymer Journal
Citation European Polymer Journal 42 (2006) 2140-2152

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