Keywords: poly (methyl methacrylate), PMMA, organoclay, nanocomposites, activation energy, thermogravimetric analysis, TGA, thermal stability, nanotechnology, nanoclay, thermal degradation kinetics, glass transition temperature
Effect of nanoclay content on the structural, thermal properties and thermal degradation kinetics of PMMA/organoclay nanocomposites
This article deals with the development of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)/organoclay nanocomposites by solvent blending method. The synthesised PMMA nanocomposites with various content of organoclay (3–7 wt%) were characterised by X–ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier–transform infrared analysis (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The XRD and TEM analysis reveal the formation of intercalated PMMA nanocomposites. The TGA result demonstrates that the nanocomposites exhibit a pronounced increase in thermal stability with an increase in the clay content. The maximum improvement of decomposition temperature for the nanocomposites is found to be 20°C at 7% clay content when 50% weight loss is taken as a point of comparison. All the nanocomposites possess superior glass transition temperature (Tg) relative to pure PMMA. The kinetic models such as Kissinger and Friedman model also demonstrate the improved activation energy for the nanocomposites with an increase in the organoclay content.