Abstract Thermal and thermo-oxidative degradation of nanocomposites based on polyamide 11 (PA11) and organo-modified clay (Cloisite® 30B) are studied in the melt state (T = 215 °C) via time-resolved mechanical spectroscopy (TRMS). The goal is assessing the potentiality of rheological analysis for studying polymer degradation in complex systems such as polymer nanocomposites, whose rheological response stems from the combination of the contributions of polymer and nanoparticles. We prove that a thorough analysis grounded on TRMS allows to isolate the effect of degradation of the polymer matrix, whose progress can be hence profitably monitored. Essentially the same degradation mechanisms as in neat PA11 are identified for the nanocomposite, but the kinetics of the thermo-oxidation processes are much faster in the presence of organo-clay. In particular, rheology promptly identifies cross-linking reactions since the early stage of the treatment in air. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization and oxidative induction time measurements corroborate the conclusions drawn on the basis of rheological analyses, shedding light on the chemical aspects of PA11 degradation. Overall, rheological analysis confirms to be a valuable tool for monitoring polymer degradation even in case of inherently complex systems such as nanocomposites. In this case, however, the analysis can be difficult if the dynamics of the nanoparticles prevail over those of the polymer matrix, which is the case of nanocomposites at high filler contents.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry