Triblock superabsorbent polymer nanocomposites with enhanced water retention capacities and rheological characteristics

Menceloğlu, Yeşim and Menceloğlu, Yusuf Z. and Seven, Senem Avaz (2022) Triblock superabsorbent polymer nanocomposites with enhanced water retention capacities and rheological characteristics. ACS Omega, 7 (24). pp. 20486-20494. ISSN 2470-1343

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Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) are useful polymers in a wide range of application fields ranging from the hygiene industry to construction and agriculture. As versatility and high water absorption capacity are their important merits, SAPs usually suffer from low water retention capacity (fast release) and weak mechanical properties. To address these drawbacks, a set of new superabsorbent polymer-Halloysite nanotube (HNT) nanocomposites was synthesized via free radical polymerization of acrylamide, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane-1-sulfonic acid, and acrylic acid in the presence of vinyltrimethoxysilane (VTMS) as the crosslinker. FTIR and TGA characterizations confirm the polymerization of SAP and successful incorporation of HNTs into the SAP polymer matrix. The effect of the HNT nanofiller amount in the nanocomposite polymer matrix was investigated with swelling-release performance tests, crosslink density calculations, and rheology measurements. It was found that equilibrium swelling ratios are correlated and therefore can be tuned via the crosslink densities of nanocomposites, while water retention capacities are governed by storage moduli. A maximum swelling of 537 g/g was observed when 5 wt % HNT was incorporated, in which the crosslink density is the lowest. Among the SAP nanocomposites prepared, the highest storage modulus was observed when 1 wt % of nanofiller was incorporated, which coincides with the nanocomposite with the longest water retention. The water release duration of SAPs was prolonged up to 27 days with 1% HNT addition in parallel with the achieved maximum storage modulus. Finally, three different incorporation mechanisms of the HNT nanofiller into the SAP nanocomposite structure were proposed and confirmed with rheology measurements. This study provides a rapid synthesis method for SAP nanocomposites with enhanced water retention capacities and explains the relationship between swelling and crosslink density and water retention and mechanical properties of SAP nanocomposites.
Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center
Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Research and Application Center
Depositing User: Yusuf Z. Menceloğlu
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2022 22:47
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2022 22:47

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