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Title: A pseudo-thermodynamic description of dispersion for nanocomposites

Dispersion in polymer nanocomposites is determined by the kinetics of mixing and chemical affinity. Compounds like reinforcing filler/elastomer blends display some similarity to colloidal solutions in that the filler particles are close to randomly dispersed through processing. It is attractive to apply a pseudo-thermodynamic approach taking advantage of this analogy between the kinetics of mixing for polymer compounds and thermally driven dispersion for colloids. In order to demonstrate this pseudo-thermodynamic approach, two polybutadienes and one polyisoprene were milled with three carbon blacks and two silicas. These samples were examined using small-angle x-ray scattering as a function of filler concentration to determine a pseudo-second order virial coefficient, A2, which is used as an indicator for compatibility of the filler and polymer. It is found that A2 follows the expected behavior with lower values for smaller primary particles indicating that smaller particles are less compatible and more difficult to mix. The measured values of A2 can be used to specify repulsive interaction potentials for coarse grain DPD simulations of filler/elastomer systems. In addition, new methods to quantify the filler percolation threshold and filler mesh size as a function of filler concentration are obtained. Moreover, the results represent a new approach to understandingmore » and predicting compatibility in polymer nanocomposites based on a pseudo-thermodynamic approach.« less
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  1. Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH (United States)
  2. Univ. of Dayton, Dayton, OH (United States)
  3. Bridgestone Americas Center for Research and Technology, Akron, OH (United States)
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 129; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0032-3861
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22), Scientific User Facilities Division; National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Nanocomposite; Reinforced elastomer; Small-angle scattering; Virial approach; Dispersion; Compatibility; Polybutadiene; Polyisoprene; Silica; Carbon black
OSTI Identifier: