Orientation Effect of Clay Platelets in Transfer Molded Polymer Nanocomposites

Ying Fan, Yuebin C. Lu, Ying Lu, Xinghua Zhang, Jianjun Lou, Chengchun Tang, Jeffrey T. Wood, Douglas M. Shinozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Transfer molding has been increasingly used to process polymer composites with various shaped nanoparticles, including platelet type nanoparticles. Platelet nanoparticles exhibit high aspect ratios (length to thickness); therefore their distributions in polymer matrix can be greatly affected by the flow trajectories in the mold. In present study, the clay platelet-polyethylene nanocomposite was prepared by transfer molding. The orientation of clay platelets developed during molding process was analyzed and measured with wide angle X-ray diffraction. Due to large velocity and shear stress gradients in the mold, the platelets caught in surface regions were rotated towards the flow direction and formed the oriented morphologies. With weaker shear stresses at the central region, the platelets were mostly randomly distributed. The shear stresses may be amplified locally at regions near the mold walls, which can further lead to or accelerate the orientations of clay particles. The orientation distribution was found to depend upon the clay fraction and sample size. The oriented platelets can be re-randomized through the annealing process. The orientation of clay platelets enhanced the orientation of polyethylene lamellae and caused shear band formation in composites when deformed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-973
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer - Plastics Technology and Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by NSERC Canada and the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province of China (No. 2012202114).


  • Nanocomposites
  • Orientation
  • Platelets
  • Polyethylene
  • X-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Orientation Effect of Clay Platelets in Transfer Molded Polymer Nanocomposites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this