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Nanocor China

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Nanoclay Structures

Montmorillonite's unique structure creates a platey particle
The essential nanoclay raw material is montmorillonite, a 2-to-1 layered smectite clay mineral with a platey structure. Individual platelet thicknesses are just one nanometer (one-billionth of a meter), but surface dimensions are generally 300 to more than 600 nanometers, resulting in an unusually high aspect ratio. Naturally occurring montmorillonite is hydrophilic. Since polymers are generally organophilic, unmodified nanoclay disperses in polymers with great difficulty. Through clay surface modification, montmorillonite can be made organophilic and, therefore, compatible with conventional organic polymers. Surface compatibilization is also known as “intercalation”. Compatibilized nanoclays disperse readily in polymers.

Nanocor employs a number of chemistries to surface compatiblize its nanoclays. For example, in addition to traditional onuim ion modification Nanocor has developed and patented a novel means for modification by leaving the sodium ion on the surface and coordinating it via ion-dipole interaction. Regardless of the modification technology used, the resulting clay-chemical complex, which exhibits a definite gallery spacing between the platelets, is called a Nanomer® nanoclay, and is supplied as a free-flowing, micronized powder. When Nanomer nanoclays are dispersed in a polymer matrix, they form a near-molecular blend called a nanocomposite.

For more information about montmorillonite structure and morphology, consult Technical Data G-105. Additional information about surface compatiblization is contained in Technical Data G-100.

Nanocomposite Overview

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