(273c) Modifying the Properties of Nanocomposite Triblock Copolymer Gels through Filler Size and Surface Chemistry
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 1:00pm to 1:15pm
Thermoplastic elastomer gels that self-assemble into well-defined nanostrucutures have become an area of intense research interest due to the unique properties resulting from their morphology. However, for many applications, they must have the toughness and durability to withstand a wide range of environmental and operational conditions, which can be an issue with many soft materials. To address these potential limitations, thermoplastic elastomer gels composed of poly[styrene-b-(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene] (SEBS) and mineral oil were loaded with nanoparticles differing in size, shape, and surface functionality. In addition, the gel matrix was modified by including reactive species into the formulation. The morphology and mechanical properties of the resulting nanocomposites were studied to examine how the interactions between the nanoparticles and the triblock copolymer gel affect the performance of the material. It was found that these parameters have a dramatic impact on the toughness and fracture mechanics. A detailed understanding of these relationships will expand the scope of possible applications for these systems.