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Preparation and characterization of poly(vinylidene fluoride)/nanoclay nanocomposite flat sheet membranes for abrasion resistance

Lai, Chi Yan, Groth, Andrew, Gray, Stephen R and Duke, Mikel (2014) Preparation and characterization of poly(vinylidene fluoride)/nanoclay nanocomposite flat sheet membranes for abrasion resistance. Water Research, 57. pp. 56-66. ISSN 0043-1354

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Membranes with more resilience to abrasive wear are highly desired in water treatment, especially for seawater desalination. Nanocomposite poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)/nanoclay membranes were prepared by phase inversion and then tested for abrasion resistance. Their material properties were characterized using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), tensile testing, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Nanoclay Cloisite® 15A was utilised as the inorganic nanoparticle incorporated into PVDF. FTIR results showed a shifting of the PVDF crystalline phase from α to β thus indicating that the nanoclay altered the PVDF host material's structure and mechanical properties in terms of stiffness and toughness. Water permeation test showed that nanoclay at low concentration tended to reduce water flux. All nanocomposite membranes, with between 1 wt% and 5 wt% initial nanoclay loading, were more abrasion resistant than the control PVDF membrane. However, the 1 wt% exhibited superior resistance, lasting two times longer than the reference PVDF membrane under the same abrasive condition. The 1 wt% nanoclay membrane appeared less abraded by SEM observation, while also having the greatest tensile strength improvement (from 4.5 MPa to 4.9 MPa). This membrane also had the smallest agglomerated nanoclay particle size and highest toughness compared to the higher nanoclay content membranes. Nanoclays are therefore useful for improving abrasion resistance of PVDF membranes, but optimal loadings are essential to avoid losing essential mechanical properties.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: poly(vinylidene fluoride), nanoclay, nanocomposite, ultrafiltration, abrasion resistance
Subjects: Current > FOR Classification > 0904 Chemical Engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2014 07:21
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2017 04:00
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Citations in Scopus: 60 - View on Scopus

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