Thermochimica Acta, 2019, vol 677pp. 151-161
Nanocomposites based on MgAL layered double hydroxides (LDH) and an epoxy resin were prepared and investigated by a combination of complementary methods. As epoxy resin Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (DGEBA) was used with Diethylenetriamine as curing agent. The LDH was modified with taurine, which acts as an additional crosslinking agent due to its amine groups. The epoxy resin was cured in a presence of the nanofiller, which was added to the system in various concentrations. X-ray scattering, by combination of SAXS and WAXS was used to characterize the morphology of the obtained nanocomposites. These investigations show that the filler is distributed in the matrix as small stacks of ca. 10 layers. The molecular dynamics of the system, as probe for structure, was investigated by broadband dielectric spectroscopy. In addition to the β- and α-relaxation (dynamic glass transition), characteristic for the unfilled materials, a further process was found which was assigned to localized fluctuations of segments physically adsorbed or chemically bonded to the nanoparticles. The dielectric α-relaxation is shifted to higher temperatures for the nanocomposites in comparison to the pure material but depends weakly on the content of nanoparticles. Further, for the first time Flash DSC was employed to a thermosetting system to investigate the glass transition behavior of the nanocomposites. The heating rates were converted in to relaxation rates. For low concentrations of the nanofiller the thermal data overlap more or less with that of the pure epoxy. For higher concentrations the thermal data are shifted significantly to higher temperatures. This is discussed in terms the cooperativity approach to the glass transition.