The invention provides methods for making clay/wax nanocomposites and coatings and films of same with improved chemical resistance and gas barrier properties. The invention further provides methods for making and using emulsions of such clay/wax nanocomposites. Typically, an organophillic clay is combined with a wax or wax/polymer blend such that the cohesion energy of the clay matches that of the wax or wax/polymer blend. Suitable organophilic clays include mica and phyllosilicates that have been surface-treated with edge or edge and surface modifying agents. The resulting nanocomposites have applications as industrial coatings and in protective packaging.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.