In this study, the mechanical properties of nanoclay reinforced polymeric resins are investigated at various temperatures. In recent years there has been heightened interest to develop nanoclay reinforced composites due to their superior performance compared to neat resins at high temperatures under various loading conditions, including impact. First, polypropylene (PP) resin specimens reinforced with varying weight fractions of nanoclay (0%, 1%, 3%, 6% and 10%) some instrumented with strain gages, were subjected to tensile loads and the stress-strain curves were obtained to determine the mechanical properties of the nanocomposite. Extensive experimental data were obtained. The results indicate that as the weight percentage of nanoclay increases, the strength and stiffness of the resulting nanocomposites also increase. Most of PP specimens exhibited significant deformation (more than 100%) and did not break. High temperatures have a deleterious effect on the strength and stiffness of nanoclay reinforced PP specimens. However, the addition of nanoclay, somewhat mitigates the deterioration of these properties. At lower temperatures the material stiffens, has higher strength and becomes more brittle as failure occurs at much lower strains. Also the tests using different PP resins indicate that the type of resin used has significant effect on the properties of the nanocomposite. A micromechanics model based on the Mori-Tanaka formulation was used to predict the results obtained experimentally. The comparison of theoretical/numerical and experimental results indicates that the Mori-Tanaka formulation may be a useful tool in predicting these properties.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.