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The term “nanocomposite” is widely used to describe a very broad range of materials, where one of the phases has a submicrometer dimension . In the case of polymer-based nanocomposites, this typically involves the incorporation of “nano” fillers with one (platelets), two (fibers, tubes), or all three dimensions at the submicrometer scale. However, strictly speaking, simply using nanometer-scaled fillers is not sufficient for obtaining genuine/true nanocomposites: these fillers must also be well dispersed down to individual particles and give rise to intrinsically new properties, which are not present in the respective macroscopic composites or the pure components. In this chapter, we shall use a broader definition, encompassing also “nanofilled polymer composites”, where – even without complete dispersion or in the absence of any new/novel functionalities – there exist substantial concurrent enhancements of multiple properties (for example, mechanical, thermal, thermomechanical, barrier, and flammability). Further, we shall limit our discussion to one example, focusing on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) with mica-type layered aluminosilicates.
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