Development of Clay Minerals/Organic Polymer Nano-composit Materials


Toyota Central R & D Labs., Inc.; Nagakute, Aichi 480-1192 Japan

A nano-composit organic polymer with clay minerals, which was developed by Toyota Central R & D Labs, Toyota Motor Co. and Ube Industry Ltd., is reviewed. A cation exchange of montmorillonite for amino-acid cations and polymerization of ε-caprolactam in interlayer regions produced a novel nano-composite; NCH (Nylon Clay Hybrid), materials, in which silicate layers of the clay minerals with about 1 nm in thickness are dispersed in the nylon 6 matrix. The NCH shows not only excellent mechanical and heat resistant properties but also a good gas barrier effect, which is essential for envelop films. The properties made it possible to industrial uses of the NCH as parts for automobile and wrapping films for foods. The success of the NCH has awoke us importance of a nano-meter scale structure control, and an organic/inorganic interaction for the preparation of materials. This work has initiated following many researches and developments concerning nano-composits, hybrids, mesoporous materials and bio-mineralization.

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