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Enhancement in thermal properties of poly(vinyl alcohol) nanocomposites reinforced with Al2O3 nanoparticles

Abstract

In the present study, poly(vinyl alcohol)/Al2O3 nanocomposites of various compositions were produced through ultrasound-assisted technique. The nanocomposites were prepared by mixing a colloidal solution consisting of Al2O3nanoparticles with a water solution of poly(vinyl alcohol) and then hybrids films with different contents of inorganic phase were obtained after solvent evaporation. Field emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, and UV-visible spectroscopy were utilized to characterize the poly(vinyl alcohol)/Al2O3 nanocomposites morphology and properties. Thermogravimetric analysis and UV-visible results indicated that the thermal stability is enhanced distinctly, without a sacrifice in optical clarity. The improvement of thermal properties was attributed to the homogeneous and good dispersion of Al2O3nanoparticles in the poly(vinyl alcohol) matrix and the strong hydrogen bonding between O–H groups of poly(vinyl alcohol) and the oxygen atoms of nanoparticles. On the whole, the poly(vinyl alcohol)/Al2O3 nanocomposite systems had thermal properties, which were superior to that of the neat polymer and its conventionally filled composites.

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