Ultrasound-assisted surface treatment of ZrO2 with BSA and incorporating in PVC to improve the properties of the obtained nanocomposites: Fabrication and characterization
This paper describes the preparation of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) nanocomposites (NCs) reinforced with modified zirconia (ZrO2) nanoparticles (NPs). The ZrO2 NPs were defined as efficient filler for PVC NCs. For achieving the best dispersion and improvement of properties, the surface of ZrO2 NPs was modified by Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA). Carboxylic acids and amines are important functional groups of BSA which handle the grafting BSA on the surface of ZrO2 NPs. The PVC/ZrO2-BSA NCs were fabricated by incorporation of various amounts of the ZrO2-BSA NPs (3, 6 and 9 wt%) into PVC matrix. All the above processes were accomplished by ultrasonication as a green and environmentally-friendly method. Also, the magnetic and mechanical stirrer was used for the preparation of samples but the results are not suitable and the aggregation was observed which indicated the use of ultrasonic irradiation is the best method for the preparation of NC. The products were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Transmission electron microscopy, Field emission scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Thermogravimetric analysis, Ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, wettability, and mechanical tests. The achieved PVC/ZrO2-BSA NCs showed high thermal stability, good mechanical, optical and wettability properties compared to the pure PVC. In addition, among the obtained NCs, the PVC/ZrO2-BSA NC 6 wt% showed the best improvement.