The effect of processing route and parameters on final OMLS amount and dispersion have been evaluated by calcination at 900[degrees]C in air (TGA).
Moreover, standard deviation is an indirect measure for the evaluation of OMLS dispersion (Table 3, calculated).
The dispersion and distribution of OMLS can be evaluated also by morphological analyses (SEM).
Pristine OMLS is characterized by two main diffraction peaks at 20 angles of 3.
The PE-g-MA/OMLS 75:25 masterbatches produced with methods M1-L, M1-H, and M2 have been diluted with neat LDPE to an OMLS of 2.
Evaluation of real OMLS amount for dilute composites obtained varying processing conditions.
Comparing the results obtained with TSE and SSE at the same conditions and using the same masterbatch (M2) another significative observation can be done: when a significative dispersion and distribution of OMLS have been obtained for the masterbatch (M2 case), the instrument used for the dilution (SSE and TSE) seems to have no influence on OMLS reinforcing effect.
Due to the poor distribution of OMLS within polymer matrix, in fact, higher SME (hence highest speed) brings to best results in terms of elongation with respect to higher residence times (lowest speed), because of the major breakup of residue particles that are responsible for fracture triggering.
The level of dispersion of OMLS for the different composites varying processing conditions has been evaluated also by means of XRD analysis.
It can also be easily observed, as a confirm of what previously discussed about mechanical results analysis, that the dilution speed does not influence OMLS intercalation and exfoliation.
In particular, considering separate OMLS-polymer feeding (M1 method), higher mixing speed (M1-H, hence higher SME) led to better dispersion of the filler with respect to lower one (M1-L), whereas with dry-premixing of polymer and OMLS (M2), even at low mixing speed, a distribution and dispersion similar to M1-H method can be obtained.