Highly filled, high solids content, water-borne polymer–Gibbsite nanocomposites are prepared with Gibbsite contents as high as 35 wt%. The polymer–Gibbsite nanocomposites are synthesised via conventional starved feed emulsion polymerization using negatively charged butyl acrylate-co-acrylic acid oligomers, which functioned as electrosteric stabilizers for the initial platelets and the subsequently formed latex particles. A simple mathematical model describing the amount of cooligomer required for the colloidal stability of the initial Gibbsite platelets and the subsequently formed particles was derived. This model was used to determine the reaction conditions required for obtaining colloidally stable nanocomposites with a targeted filler content. Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy characterization of the resulting nanocomposites with filler contents up to 20 wt% revealed fully encapsulated Gibbsite platelets and a mixed morphology of “muffin-like” and encapsulated particles was obtained at higher filler contents.
- highly filled nanocomposites