Fabrication and Characterisation of Polyurethane/Sepiolite Polymer Nanocomposite Foams for Enhanced Energy Absorption

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Polymer nanocomposite foams are unique materials that can be chemically, mechanically and structurally controlled in order to maximise the desired properties. Through size, shape and surface modification, the functionality of the foam can be enhanced or altered. This project looks at the incorporation of sepiolite clay nanorods into a polyurethane foam matrix in order to improve the sound vibration absorption properties of open cell flexible foams. Polyurethane foams are light weight, porous materials that can act as good thermal and sound barriers, while sepiolite nanorods have a high aspect ratio associated with the production of well dispersed composites as well as the possibility for the surface chemistry to be easily modified. The sepiolite rods were incorporated into the foam matrix through the mechanical dispersion of the rods into a foam precursor to allow the in-situ polymerisation of the foam matrix and sepiolite nanofiller. Three different grades of sepiolite clay were explored with varying surface chemistry. Cyclic and static compression testing were used to show how the change in surface treatment of the sepiolite lead to an increase in the energy dissipation of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECCM17 - 17th European Conference on Composite Materials
Subtitle of host publicationMunich, German, 26-30 June 2016
PublisherEuropean Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783000533877
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2016
Event17th European Conference on Composite Materials 2016 - Internationales Congress Center München, Munich, Germany
Duration: 26 Jun 201630 Jun 2016
Conference number: 17


Conference17th European Conference on Composite Materials 2016
Abbreviated titleECCM17
Internet address


  • Polyurethane
  • compression testing
  • sepiolite
  • foam


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