Researchers at Sharif University of Technology, Iran, managed to introduce a proper computational method for the prediction of mechanical properties and synthesis of polymer/clay nanocomposites.
"Based on the comparisons made among previously proposed modeling methods for synthesis of polymer/clay nanocomposites, the elastic modulus of these nanocomposites were predicted by modification of Mori-Tanaka micromechanical model in this research," Alireza Zehtabyazdi, one of the researchers, said in an interview with INIC news service.
Noting that the examination of previous studies details showed that some important microstructural aspects haven't been closely studied yet, Zehtabyazdi reiterated, "Therefore, we attempted to introduce a model capable of covering as many parameters affecting mechanical properties of polymer/clay nanocomposites containing fully intercalated, a combination of exfoliated and intercalated, and fully exfoliated structures as possible."
In this study, he first did analytical and micromechanical modeling of nanocomposite with fully intercalated but heterogeneous structure and also micromechanical modeling of nanocomposite with an intercalated/exfoliated combinational structure.
He, then, investigated the effects of properties of gallery phase between clay layers on elastic modulus in exfoliated/intercalated and heterogeneous fully intercalated structures and eventually managed to propose a new approach in defining the ratio of exfoliated to intercalated structures and micromechanical model solution.
These nanocomposites could be very efficient in aerospace industry due to their unique properties like high modulus and strength, appropriate dimensional stability, resistance to fire, and good penetration.
For more details see Journal of COMPOSITE MATERIALS, volume 43, pages 2921-2941, 2009