Structure and properties of nylon-6/amino acid modified nanoclay composite fibers
Biodegradable amino acid modified nanocaly was applied to produce nylon-6/nanoclay composite fibers using melt blending and melt spinning processes. Field emission scanning electron microscopy images showed that the surface of composite fibers was uniform and free from defects. Layer spacing of modified nanoclay was increased due to the penetration of polymer molecules into clay layers. Crystallinity, γ crystalline percentage and total molecular orientation of composite fibers were higher in comparison to neat nylon-6 fibers, as revealed by WAXD and birefringence measurements. Tensile strength of composite fibers was lower when compared to neat nylon-6 fibers. This may be attributed to some aggregation of nanoclay and its weakening effect. Melting and glass transition temperature of composite fiber was decreased due to the addition of modified nanoclay, indicating the formation of γ crystals and also breaking of some hydrogen bonds between the polymer molecules and the formation of new hydrogen bonds between the modified clay and the polymer molecules.