KRACALIK Milan Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Polymer Science

Rheology as a Powerfull Tool for Scientific as Well Industrial Characterisation of New Materials based on Polymer-clay Nanocomposites

Polymer-clay nanocomposites are interesting class of materials due to possibility of fine tuning of processing as well as utility properties. On the one hand, enough studies have been performed until now concerning principles of clay dispersion in different polymer matrices and effect of clay structure on the final material performance. On the other hand, there are still not many products on the market based on polymers reinforced with nano-scaled layered silicates. One of the main difficulties during development of new materials using clay particles consists in long development times, which reflect the complexity of relevant processing processes (compounding, extrusion, injection moulding). Comparing to conventional composites systems, different physical as well as chemical reactions can occur during the mixing of polymer with organically modified clay and, consequently, long development time to find a proper processing routes (temperature profile, screw geometry, screw speed etc.) is necessary. In this contribution, shear as well as elongational rheometry has been applied for the estimation of physical and chemical interactions during the processing. It is shown that combination of shear and extensional rheology can be used for both research structural characterisation as well for fast industrial quality control of nanoclay-based materials.