Room temperature vulcanized (RTV) silicone foams (SFs) have unique thermal and chemical properties due to the presence of inorganic Si-O backbones with organic methyl side groups. However, their low mechanical strength and low tear resistance are major drawbacks for many applications. We have incorporated Nanoclay as reinforcing filler to improve mechanical properties of silicone foams. A three step blending process was used to disperse Nanoclay in silicone elastomers. Initially, Nanoclay in the concentration range of 0.5%–1% by weight were mixed to silicone polymer using a mechanical mixer at 1200 rpm for 10 min followed by a tip sonication at 20% amplitude for 1 hr. Finally, a high speed mechanical mixer was used at 2000 rpm for 2 hours. Two different types of Nanoclays with different sizes were investigated. Both compression and tear properties were found to improve with addition of 0.5 wt% Nanoclay. It was found that the smaller Nanoclay particle size showed the best compressive property while the Nanoclay with larger particle size improved tear strength the greatest.

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