Journal of Polymer Science & Applications

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Oxygen Permeability Properties of Ethylene Methyl Acrylate/ Sepiolite Clay Composites with Enhanced Mechanical and Thermal Performance

A facile, eco-friendly, and industrially viable melt mixing method was introduced to incorporate sepiolite (SP) clay into ethylene methyl acrylate (EMA) matrix for the fabrication of transparent, highly flexible, and mechanically/thermally stable composites. The structural information was investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. The ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV) study also indicates the transparency of the composites. The electron micrographs were employed to characterize the dispersion of SP clay inside the EMA matrix and also revealed proper dispersion of SP clay in EMA matrix. The strong polymer-filler interaction is responsible for enhanced properties of EMA composites with SP clay content, that evaluated by both bound rubber content and dynamic mechanical analysis. The proposed composites demonstrate the improved thermal, mechanical properties as compared to pure EMA matrix. The significant deterioration of oxygen permeability and water absorption performance of EMA/SP clay composites may be attributed to the well dispersion of SP clay inside the EMA matrix and improved restriction of the free movement of EMA molecular chains. Thus, the proposed EMA/SP composites show a high potential in the membranes and packaging application

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