New strategies were developed which incorporate silica nanoparticles ¸30 nm into a nylon-6 matrix, to form technically interesting hybrid nanocomposites with improved stiffness. The dried films were submitted for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The silica particles retained their original shape and size 10-30 nm, were mono-dispersed and mainly non-agglomerated as shown by TEM.
A new preparative industrial route involves production of the nanocomposites by a stable extrusion process using the colloid as a compatibilizer. The goal of the processing route was to obtain a higher pressure than the vapor pressure of the water colloid.
Initial mechanical tests on the composites were conducted and showed that less than 5wt% silica addition increased the E-modulus of the nanocomposites compared to neat nylon-6. The increase in mechanical properties may be a result of the nanosize filler particles, which has good synergy with the nylon matrix.