This work reports the development and testing of a magnetic polymer (Polyamide 6, PA6) nanocomposite capable of melting when exposed to an external magnetic field. Addition of high concentrations of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) can induce quick melting but is detrimental to the mechanical properties of the polymer. To reduce the amount of NPs required for achieving efficient melting, they should be well dispersed in the polymer. In this study, the oleic acid loading on the surfaces of the NPs was varied to study the effect of variations in coatings on the dispersion in the polymer and on the polymer melting time. The NPs functionalized with oleic acid were added to melted monomer epsilon-caprolactam and polymerized using ring-opening polymerization. The resulting PA6 nanocomposite was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The results confirmed that the PA6 nanocomposite showed a decrease of 8–10% in its glass-transition temperature compared to commercial PA6. The crystallinity of the synthesized samples were found to vary between 42% and 57%. The 55 wt.% oleic acid-loaded NPs were found to disperse most efficiently in the PA6 matrix; however, some large agglomerates were formed due to excessive oleic acid. Therefore, the 22 wt.% oleic acid coating showed overall superior dispersion. Additionally, the magnetic induction response was tested by observing a melt-characteristic of the magnetic polymer composite using a model set-up. Oleic acid concentration is found to affect the dispersion, melting time and crystallinity of the nanocomposite.
GUPTA, R., PANCHOLI, K., DE SA, R., MURRAY, D., HUO, D., DROUBI, G., WHITE, M. and NJUGUNA, J. 2019. Effect of oleic acid coating of iron oxide nanoparticles on properties of magnetic polyamide-6 nanocomposite. JOM [online], 71(9), pages 3119-3128. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-019-03622-5