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Critical Role of Particle/Polymer Interface in Long-term Performance of Nanofilled Polymeric Coatings



Xiaohong Gu, Guodong Chen, Minhua Zhao, Stephanie S. Watson, Tinh Nguyen, Joannie W. Chin, Jonathan W. Martin


In this study, the role of the nanoparticle/polymer interface in the long-term UV weathering performance of a nano-ZnO filled polyurethane (PU) coating system was investigated. The effects of the parameters that can influence the particle/polymer interfacial properties, such as size, loading, surface modification of the nanoparticles, on photodegradation of ZnO/PU films were evaluated. The nature of the interfacial regions before and after UV exposures were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based techniques. Results have shown that the interfacial properties strongly affect chemical, thermo-mechanical and morphological properties of the UV-exposed ZnO/PU films. By combining tapping mode AFM and novel electric force microscopy (EFM), the particle/polymer interfacial regions have been successfully detected directly from the surface of the ZnO/PU films. Further, our results indicate that ZnO nanoparticles can function as a photo-catalyst or a photo-stabilizer, depending on the UV exposure conditions. A hypothesis is proposed that the polymers in the vicinity of the ZnO/PU interface are preferentially degraded or protected, depending on ZnO nanoparticles act as a photo-catalyst or a photo-stabilizer in the polymers. This study clearly demonstrates that the particle/polymer interface plays a critical role in the long-term durability of nano-filled polymeric coatings.
Conference Dates
April 12-14, 2010
Conference Location
Charlotte, NC
Conference Title
American Coatings Show 2010


Gu, X. , Chen, G. , Zhao, M. , Watson, S. , Nguyen, T. , Chin, J. and Martin, J. (2010), Critical Role of Particle/Polymer Interface in Long-term Performance of Nanofilled Polymeric Coatings, American Coatings Show 2010, Charlotte, NC (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created May 17, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017