Computer simulations are used to understand the molecular basis of mechanical reinforcement of platelet-filled polymers when the polymer and nanofiller interact attractively. With decreasing temperature, there is increasing aggregation between chains and filler, and an increase in the polymer matrix relaxation time. The lifetimes are predicted to diverge below an extrapolated temperature, which we identify with the emergence of an amorphous solid state. Our findings suggest that filled polymers are phenomenogically similar to solutions of associating polymers and supercooled liquids near their glass transition.
Citation: Physical Review Letters
Issue: No. 25
Pub Type: Journals
amorphous solidification, associating polymers, chain clustering, clay, Gelation, glass-formation, platelet filler, polymers