Abstract A natural nanotubular material, halloysite nanotubes (HNTs), was introduced to prepare styrene-butadiene rubber/modified halloysite nanotube (SBR/m-HNT) nanocomposites. Complex of resorcinol and hexamethylenetetramine (RH) was used as the interfacial modifier. The structure, morphology and mechanical properties of SBR/m-HNT nanocomposites, especially the interfacial interactions, were investigated. SEM and TEM observations showed that RH can not only facilitate the dispersion and orientation of HNTs in SBR matrix at nanometer scale, but also enhance the interfacial combination between HNTs and rubber matrix. FTIR and XPS investigations confirmed that a number of hydrogen bonds were formed between the phenol hydroxyl groups in resorcinol-formaldehyde resin derived from RH and the oxygen atoms in Si―O bonds or hydroxyl groups on HNTs surfaces. The m-HNTs modified with RH have significant reinforcing effect on SBR vulcanizates. RH as a good interfacial modifier can remarkably improve mechanical properties of SBR/HNT composites. The substantial improvement of comprehensive properties for SBR/m-HNT nanocomposites can be attributed to good dispersion and orientation of HNTs in SBR matrix at nanometer scale and the enhanced interfacial interaction between HNTs and rubber matrix.
Received: 25 September 2008
Published: 20 November 2009