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Polymer-clay nanocomposites are formed through the union of two very different materials with organic and mineral pedigrees. The hybrid compositions, however, exhibit large increases in tensile strength, modulus, and heat distortion temperature as compared with the pristine polymer. The composites also have lower water sensitivity, reduced permeability to gases, and a similar thermal coefficient of expansion. All of these property improvements can be realized without a loss of clarity in the polymer. Further, it has been found that nanocomposites impart a level of flame retardance and UV resistance not present in the pure polymer. These improvements in performance properties at relatively low clay loading (typically 2 -10wt %) have stimulated intensive research in both industry and academia over the past decade. Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites presents the first comprehensive overview of the state of the art of these materials since they were first reported a decade ago. Covering both the theory and practical applications, this volume in the 'Wiley Series in Polymer Science' covers the key aspects of these important materials including: * Polymer-clay intercalates * The preparation and general properties of special practical and commercial significance (including strength, stiffness, toughness, permeability, fire retardation and chemical stability) * The elucidation of the structural and rheological factors influencing performance and processing properties Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites is an indispensable text for polymer scientists, composites formulators, materials engineers, resin producers, filters and additive producers as well as university lecturers, and organic and inorganic chemists working in this important and fascinating area.