The photo-oxidative degradation processes of bio-based PA11 nanocomposites containing montmorillonite (MMT) and the organo-modified Cloisite® 30B were investigated to discriminate the influence of organo-modified components on the polymer durability. Indeed, despite the extensive studies reported, there are still ambiguous points to be clarified from the chemical point of view. To this aim, UV-aged materials were analyzed by Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC), Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). This enabled determining changes in both chemical structure and Molar Masses (MMs) induced by light, heat and oxygen exposure. The addition of organo-modified nanoclays strongly affected the PA11 light durability, triggering the macromolecular chains scission due to the typical αH, Norrish I and II mechanisms. However, the main contribution in boosting the photo-oxidative degradation is induced by iron impurities contained into the clays. Conversely, thermo-oxidation process performed at 215 C was unambiguously affected by the presence of the organo-modifiers, whose presence determined an enhancement of crosslinking reactions.
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
1 May 2020
Volume: 12 Issue: 5 Pages: 1034