The degradation of mechanical properties in halloysite nanoclay–polyester nanocomposites exposed to diluted methanol

Mohd Shahneel Saharudin, Rasheed Atif, Islam Shyha, Fawad Inam

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Abstract

The degradation of mechanical properties in halloysite nanoclay–polyester nanocomposites was studied after an exposure of 24 h in diluted methanol system by clamping test specimens across steel templates. The glass transition temperature (Tg) and storage modulus increased steadily with the increase of halloysite nanoclays before and after diluted methanol exposure. The addition of nano-fillers was found to reduce liquid uptake by 0.6% in case of 1 wt% reinforcement compared to monolithic polyester. The mechanical properties of polyester-based nanocomposites were found to decrease as a result of diluted methanol absorption. After diluted methanol exposure, the maximum microhardness, tensile, flexural and impact toughness values were observed at 1 wt% of halloysite nanoclay. The microhardness increased from 203 to 294 HV (45% increase). The Young’s modulus increased from 0.49 to 0.83 GPa (70% increase) and the tensile strength increased from 23 to 27 MPa (17.4% increase). The impact toughness increased from 0.19 to 0.54 kJ/m2 in diluted methanol system (184% increase). Surprisingly, the fracture toughness of all types of nanocomposites was found to increase after exposing to diluted methanol due to plasticization effect. Scanning electron microscope images of the fractured surfaces of tensile specimens revealed that the methanol increased the ductility of the matrix and reduced the mechanical properties of the nanocomposites.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Early online date18 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2016

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