Polymer blends based on polyolefins constitute materials of great interest owing to their broad spectrum of properties and applications. Blending of two or more immiscible polymers is a well known method to obtain new polymeric materials with synergistic and tailored properties. Thus blending of polystyrene/high density polyethylene (PS/PE) can be considered as a way to improve the properties of PS. An increase in toughness of PS can be achieved by adding PE into PS. PS/PE blends exhibit more balanced properties, which is advantageous for a number of applications, e.g., in packaging where different barrier properties of PE and PS can be beneficially combined.
But, it well established that mixing of immiscible polymers like PS and PE forms blends with inferior properties due weak interfacial adhesion between them.As the natural deposits of commonly used montmorillonite minerals are rather limited, and as the demand for bentonite is ever increasing,there has been considerable investigation for finding substitute for these clays.The unique structure and properties of kaolin clay compared to other clays results in some difficulties in dispersing the kaolin clay particles in polymeric matrices. In this context, only scanty data is available in literature with the relatively less expensive and abundantly available mineral in India, kaolin.
In this work it is proposed to upgrade polystyrene/high densitypolyethylene blend (80/20) with nanokaolin clay. Kaolin has the potential to bean ideal precursor for the preparation of new nanocomposite materials since itis cost effective when compared to montmorillonite (MMT) clays. Kaolin also exhibits greater theoretical internal surface area per unit mass than do the MMT.To improve the adhesion of fillers with the matrix, compatibilisers are used. Investigation has been carried out on the compatibility and the mechanical properties of the blend consisting of glass fibre and clay together with compatibilisers.