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Title

Enhanced physical aging of polymer nanocomposites: The key role of the area to volume ratio

AuthorsCangialosi, Daniele ; Boucher, Virginie M. ; Alegría, Ángel ; Colmenero de León, Juan
Issue Date2012
PublisherElsevier
CitationPolymer 53(6): 1362-1372 (2012)
AbstractThe physical aging process, namely the spontaneous evolution of the thermodynamic state occurring in glasses, has been monitored in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)/silica and polystyrene (PS)/silica nanocomposites following the time evolution of the enthalpy by means of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The effect on physical aging of the content of silica particles has been investigated in detail varying it over a wide range. Our results indicate accelerated physical aging in the nanocomposites in comparison to the corresponding pure polymer. Furthermore the acceleration is generally more pronounced in nanocomposites presenting a high silica content. This result cannot be attributed to a difference in molecular mobility of the polymers in the nanocomposites in comparison to pure PMMA and PS, since broadband dielectric spectroscopy (BDS) indicates no effect of silica nanoparticles on the polymer segmental dynamics. Moreover, calorimetric measurements reveal a reduction of the heat capacity jump at T g for the nanocomposites, as well as lower experimentally recoverable enthalpy values. This may result from the faster non-isothermal evolution of the glass state when cooling down the samples from their liquid state. To account for these experimental results the acceleration of physical aging has been rationalized in the framework of the diffusion of free volume holes model as previously proposed. This is able to adequately catch the dependence of the physical aging rate on silica content, determining the area of nanoparticles to the volume of polymer, that is the relevant variable within the diffusion model. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2012.01.033
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/50604
DOI10.1016/j.polymer.2012.01.033
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.polymer.2012.01.033
issn: 0032-3861
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