Synthesis of lamellar isobutyl silicates and dispersion in polypropylene melts

Thuy T. Chastek, Emily L. Que, Phil Jarzombeck, Christopher W. Macosko, Andreas Stein

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A new synthetic clay, iC 4-LMS, which is a lamellar mesostructured silicate with isobutyl groups covalently attached to silicate sheets, was synthesized with the goal to increase the compatibility of the inorganic sheets with polypropylene (PP) in a melt-blending process. The lamellar morphology of iC 4-LMS was confirmed using X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Based on 29Si and 13C{ 1H) CP-MAS NMR spectra, isobutyl functional groups were attached to at least 10 mol % of silicate tetrahedral sites in the inorganic layers. These surface groups mimic the subunits in the PP chains. Samples of iC 4-LMS were mixed with several organic solvents and sonicated. The solvent most like PP, tetramethylpentadecane, had the highest viscosity, forming a gel which indicates very good dispersion of the clay. However, when iC 4-LMS was melt-blended with PP, it did not show significant increase in rheology. This modest effect on rheology may arise from fracture of iC 4-LMS layers as a result of the shear stresses during melt blending produced by the viscous PP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1456-1465
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 5 2007


  • Composites
  • Hybrid materials
  • Lamellar mesostructures
  • Silicates
  • Synthetic clays


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