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Layered clay/epoxy nanocomposites: Thermomechanical, flame retardancy, and optical properties
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In this study, layered clay/polymer nano-composites were developed based on epoxy resins and montmorillonite as the nanoplatelet reinforcement. Clay particles were treated with hexadecyltrimethylammonium chloride (HTCA) through an ion exchange reaction. In this way, Na+ interlay er cations of the clay is exchanged with onium cation of the surfactant that turns the hydrophilic clays (MMT) to organophilic (OMMT) characteristics. Thermal analysis results revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) and the dynamic mechanical properties including the storage and loss modulus of the neat epoxy resin increases by the incorporation of clay particles. It was also found that flame resistance of the polymer is improved by the addition of the clay particles.