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Highly exfoliated natural rubber/Clay composites by "propping-open procedure": The influence of fatty-acid chain length on exfoliation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-383
Number of pages15
JournalMacromolecular Materials and Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A high degree of exfoliation of MMT in NR is achieved by using the so-called "propping-open approach" in which a stepwise expansion of the interlayer spacing of MMT takes place. The nanostructure is characterized by WAXD and TEM which indicate different extents of clay dispersion depending on the fatty-acid chain length. Curing kinetics of different nanocomposites is studied and interestingly low activation energies of the vulcanization process are observed in the case of NR/EMMT nanocomposites. The incorporation of EMMT dramatically affects composite properties whereas DMA indicates significant reduction of tan δ peak height and the tensile strength approximately doubles from 14 to 30 MPa with only 5 phr EMMT.


  • curing kinetics, exfoliation, Mooney-Rivlin equation, nanocomposites, propping-open approach