High-performance polymer nanocomposites having a biosafe amino acid by incorporating modified nanozirconia with a flame-retardant coupling agent
A lot of polymeric materials are flammable, requiring modification to decrease their flammability. Nanoparticle (NP) fillers are very attractive for this purpose as they can improve both the physical and the flammable properties of the nanocomposites (NCs). Zirconium oxide (ZrO2) is one of the NPs having flame-retardant property. For the first time, ZrO2 NPs were modified using a fire-resistant modifier and then the chiral NCs were prepared via incorporating modified ZrO2-NPs into the poly(amide–imide) matrix. By decreasing the flammability of these NCs, severe aggregation of ZrO2-NPs could be reduced by surface modification. The surface modification of ZrO2 and the synthesis of NCs were performed through ultrasonic irradiations. The resulting modified ZrO2 and NPs-reinforced composites were characterized by different analyses. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy results proved that ZrO2-NPs were homogeneously distributed after the surface modification and successfully incorporated into the PAI matrix. The grafting of modifier on the surface of ZrO2 was confirmed by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy techniques. TGA also showed high thermally stable and flame-retardant properties of the obtained NCs.