Nylon 12 nanocomposites: Processing, characterization, and properties

S. Lao, J. H. Koo*, W. Ho, K. Ngyuen, J. Cheng, J. Torkelson, L. Pilato, G. Wissler, M. Ervin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Current thermoplastic polymer nylon 12 is lacking in flame retardancy and high strength/high heat resistance characteristics for a plethora of finished parts that are desired and required for performance driven applications. The judicious introduction of selected nanoparticles [surface modified montmorillonite (MMT) clay and carbon nanofibers (CNFs)] is accomplished by melt processing conditions. Nanomodification of nylon 12 results in expected improved polymer performance characteristics, i.e., fire retardancy, high strength, and high heat resistance for nylon 12. This performance enhancement is expected to expand selective market opportunities for nylon 12 resin manufacturers as well as end users. The introduction of nanoparticles to polymer avoids the use of hazardous flame retardant (FR) additives such as halogenated FR additives - all of which contribute to smoke and toxicity when burning. Use of small amounts of nanoparticles (∼5-7 wt%) provides sufficient strength and heat resistance as compared to 20 to 30% conventional inorganic filler (inorganic hydroxides/oxides, etc). Thus the "multifunctional" characteristics of the nanoparticles at a fraction of the amount introduced leads to low specific gravity polymer and substantial weight savings in finished part fabrication. The use of nanomaterials involves "enabling technology" whereby the existing polymer (nylon 12) is modified by melt processing that avoids a new or lengthy resin manufacturing procedure. Six nylon 12 nancomposites with 2.5%, 5%, and 7.5% Cloisite® 30B nanoclay; and 3%, 5%, and 7% PR-19-PS carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were compounded. Injection molded test specimens were fabricated for physical, thermal, mechanical properties, and flammability tests. Thermal stability of these nylon 12 nanocomposites was examined by TGA. Mechanical properties such as tensile, flexural, and elongation at break were measured. Flammability properties were also obtained using the Cone Calorimeter at an external heat flux of 50 kW/m2. TEM micrographs, physical, mechanical, and flammability properties will be presented in the paper. Nylon 11 nanocomposites and nylon 12 nanocomposties properties will also be compared with nylon 11 and nylon 12 baseline polymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition (Proceedings)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
EventSAMPE '06: Creating New Opportunities For The World Economy - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 30 2006May 4 2006


  • Carbon nanofibers
  • Nanoclay
  • Nylon 11 nanocomposites
  • Nylon 12
  • Nylon 12 nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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