Review Article Open Access

A Brief Review of the Latest Advances of Attapulgite as a Reinforcing Agent in Polymer Matrix Nanocomposites

Thais Ferreira da Silva1, Gabriel Portilho Monteiro de Souza1, Guilherme Ferreira de Melo Morgado1, Yves Nicolau Wearn1, Ana Paula Fonseca Albers2, Eduardo Quinteiro2 and Fabio Roberto Passador1
  • 1 Polymer and Biopolymer Technology Laboratory (TecPBio), Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil
  • 2 Ceramic Technology Laboratory, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil


The development of polymeric nanocomposites using clay minerals as a Nano filler is of great interest to researchers and industry. Many clay minerals are used to modify the properties of the polymers; this strategy improves the thermal and mechanical performance and changes the surface finishing and the processing characteristics. The Attapulgite (ATP), which is a clay mineral of the hydrated magnesium silicates family, has gained prominence in recent years because it combines low cost and high performance. It has a large surface area, strong absorption capacity superior to any other natural mineral, good mechanical resistance and thermal stability. These properties make ATP an ideal candidate for reinforcing polymeric materials. Different approaches and emerging technologies have been applied to improve the thermal and mechanical properties of polymer/ATP nanocomposites which can extend the different chemical treatments used in ATP. Therefore, this review article presents the latest advances related to the use of ATP in the development of polymeric nanocomposites, showing future perspectives for new trends in ATP applications. In general, ATP modifies the mechanical properties of polymers, either in the natural or modified state. And is a good alternative for the replacement of lamellar clays such as montmorillonites with the advantage of having a lower cost and a wide world market to be explored, that which drive new trends in applications for ATP, such as flame retardant of cotton fabrics, dye adsorption, hydrogel membranes for wound dressing, sustainable packaging and fuel cell applications.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 14 No. 2, 2021, 292-307


Submitted On: 25 April 2021 Published On: 3 June 2021

How to Cite: da Silva, T. F., de Souza, G. P. M., Morgado, G. F. M., Wearn, Y. N., Albers, A. P. F., Quinteiro, E. & Passador, F. R. (2021). A Brief Review of the Latest Advances of Attapulgite as a Reinforcing Agent in Polymer Matrix Nanocomposites. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 14(2), 292-307.

  • 19 Citations



  • Attapulgite
  • Nanocomposite
  • Clay Mineral
  • Polymers
  • Thermal and Mechanical Properties