Formation and properties of nylon-6 and nylon-6/montmorillonite composite nanofibers

Lei Li, Leon M. Bellan, Harold G. Craighead, Margaret W. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Nanocomposite fibers of nylon-6 and an organically modified montmorillonite (O-MMT), Cloisite-30B, were prepared by electrospinning. Dispersion and exfoliation of O-MMT in nylon-6 were achieved by melt-extrusion in a twin-screw extruder prior to dissolving in aqueous formic acid for electrospinning. The effects of O-MMT layers on the properties of the nylon-6 solution and electrospun nanocomposite fibers were investigated. Homogeneous, cylindrical nanocomposite fibers with diameters ranging from 70 to 140 nm could be prepared from the 15% composite solution. The O-MMT layers were well exfoliated inside the nanocomposite fibers and were oriented along the fiber direction. Both the degree of nylon-6 crystallinity and the crystallite sizes increased for the nanocomposite fibrous mats, most significantly for those composed of the smallest fibers electrospun from 15% solution. The mechanical properties of the electrospun fibrous mats and single fibers depended not only on the addition of O-MMT layers but also on the sizes of the fibers. Smaller fibers exhibited higher Young's modulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6208-6217
Number of pages10
Issue number17
StatePublished - Aug 9 2006


  • Electrospinning
  • Nanoclay
  • Nanocomposite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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