The clay nanoparticles are readily dispersed and exfoliated in the PVC matrix with the help of Dioctyl phthalate (DOP) plasticizer. X-ray, TEM and AFM analysis of the nanocomposites indicate that there is an optimum concentration of DOP for the process. If used in high concentrations, the ability to transfer forces to the clay particles through the polymer matrix decreases due to substantial decrease in viscosity. The individual platy montmorillonite particles dispersed in PVC matrix were directly observed by AFM and found to lie preferentially on their basal surfaces, especially when the compounded batch is compression molded. The edges of the particles were in some cases straight forming hexagonal angles and in other cases irregular.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mukerrem_cakmak/231/