Modelling stiffness of polymer/clay nanocomposites

Hbaieb, K. and Wang, Q. X. ORCID: and Chia, Y. H. J. and Cotterell, B. (2007) Modelling stiffness of polymer/clay nanocomposites. Polymer, 48 (3). pp. 901-909. ISSN 0032-3861


Aligned nanoclay particles can be distributed randomly in a polymer matrix even at high volume fractions, but randomly oriented particles cannot be randomly distributed at high volume fractions. Instead a nanocomposite where there are clusters of nearly aligned particles is obtained. The clusters of nearly aligned particles form an effective particle with lower aspect ratio. This phenomenon which produces a nanocomposite of less stiffness than might have been expected has implications for the processing of nanoclay polymer composites.

It is shown by comparing two-dimensional to three-dimensional finite element studies that the two-dimensional model, often used because it is simpler, does not accurately predict the stiffness. The Mori–Tanaka model is shown to give a reasonably accurate prediction of the stiffness of clay nanocomposites whose volume fraction is less than about 5% for aligned particles but underestimates the stiffness at higher volume fractions. On the other hand for randomly oriented particles the Mori–Tanaka model overestimates the stiffness of clay nanocomposites.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 47456
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2022 05:02
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 05:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: Finite element; Mori–Tanaka; Stiffness
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401706 Numerical modelling and mechanical characterisation
40 ENGINEERING > 4018 Nanotechnology > 401807 Nanomaterials
40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401609 Polymers and plastics
40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401602 Composite and hybrid materials
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only