Nanostructure and mechanical properties of polybutylacrylate filled with grafted silica particles.


We investigate the nanostructure and the linear rheological properties of polybutylacrylate (PBA) filled with Stöber silica particles grafted with PBA chains. The silica volume fractions range from 1.8 to 4.7%. The nanostructure of these suspensions is investigated by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), and we determine their spectromechanical behavior in the linear region. SANS measurements performed on low volume fraction composites show that the grafted silica particles are spherical, slightly polydisperse, and do not form aggregates during the synthesis process. These composites thus constitute model filled polymers. The rheological results show that introducing grafted silica particles in a polymer matrix results in the appearance of a secondary process at low frequency: for the lowest volume fractions, we observe a secondary relaxation that we attribute to the diffusion of the particles in the polymeric matrix. By increasing the silica volume fraction up to a critical value, we obtain gellike behavior at low frequency as well as the appearance of a structure factor on the scattering intensity curves obtained by SANS. Further increasing the silica particle concentration leads to composites exhibiting solidlike low-frequency behavior and to an enhanced structure peak on the SANS diagrams. This quantitative correlation between the progressive appearance of a solidlike rheological behavior, on one hand, and a structure factor, on the other hand, supports the idea that the viscoelastic behavior of filled polymers is governed by the spatial organization of the fillers in the matrix.

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@article{Inoubli2006NanostructureAM, title={Nanostructure and mechanical properties of polybutylacrylate filled with grafted silica particles.}, author={Rabi Inoubli and Sylvie Dagr{\'e}ou and Alain Lapp and Laurent Billon and Jean Peyrelasse}, journal={Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids}, year={2006}, volume={22 15}, pages={6683-9} }