Editor-in-Chief: Agarwal, Seema
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Silane pre-treatment of calcium carbonate nanofillers for polyurethane composites
In this work we have investigated the effects of CaCO3 nanofiller pretreatment on the properties of polyurethane (PU) composites prepared by a mixing procedure. The aim was to enhance interactions at the matrix/filler interface and to improve the distribution of the filler in the polyurethane matrix. CaCO3 nanofiller was treated with two different functional trialkoxysilanes, viz. γ-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (AMPTES) and γ-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS). Fourier transform IR spectroscopy of the pre-treated CaCO3 surface indicates that AMPTES formed a high-molecular-weight ladder-type structure on the CaCO3 surface, while GPTMS was adsorbed in the form of a lower-molecular-weight oligomeric structure. Increased ultimate tensile strength and elongation were obtained for PU + CaCO3 nanocomposites with silane pre-treated filler. This can be explained as the consequence of better stress transfer through the composite, observed on scanning electron micrographs, due to an improved adhesion between PU matrix and silane-treated fillers. The reinforcement effect is more pronounced for PU composites with aminosilane-treated CaCO3 filler in comparison to filler treated with glycidoxysilane.