High Density Polyethylene/Libyan Kaolin Clay Nanocomposites: Effect of Clay Particle Size on Rheological, Surface and Mechanical Properties
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This research work focuses on the effect of Libyan Kaolin clay particle size on the reheological, surface and mechanical properties of high density polyethylene (HDPE)/clay nanocomposites. Three polymer clay nanocomposites (PCNs) using 2 wt.% clay with different particle size (< 75, 75-150 and 150-300 μm) and 2 wt.% polyethylene grafted maleic anhydride (PE-g-MA) were prepared by melt processing method. The rheological (viscosity and melt flow rate), surface (wettability/hydrophilicity), and mechanical properties (tensile strength, elongation at break, Young’s modulus, hardness and impact strength) were investigated. The obtained properties of PCNs were compared with HDPE. A better enhancement in the rheological properties properties was observed when clay particle size of < 75 µm was used. It was exhibited lower viscosity and higher MFR value, which provide better processing properties in comparison to HDPE and other PCNs. PCN with clay particle size of (75-150 µm) had more wettability and/or hydrophilicity than HDPE and other PCNs. Mechanical properties results showed significant improvement only in the impact properties as compared to HDPE. In short, PCN made with Libyan kaolin clay with particle size 75-150 μm appears to has comparatively better overall properties in comparison to other PCNs.