Uniform dispersion of the constituent nanomaterial is essential in attaining optimal results for nanocomposite fabrication. In this research, a dual-phase dispersion method is studied combining a high intensity ultrasonic liquid processor with a three roll milling technique. XD-grade carbon nanotubes (XD-CNTs) were infused into Epon 862 epoxy and the mixture was then mechanically mixed with a mechanical stirrer before placing into a sonicator. This mixture was submerged continuously in a cooling bath to prevent premature polymerization. Once the sonication cycle was completed, the mixture was then placed in a three roll milling processor for six successive cycles incrementally reduced from 20 to 5 μm gap spacings at 140 rpm. Epikure curing agent W was then added to the modified resin and mixed using a high-speed mechanical stirrer. To reduce the chance of void formation, the mixture was preheated and placed in a vacuum oven to remove trapped air and reaction volatiles. Flexural and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) tests were performed on neat, 0.015 wt. %, and 0.15 wt. % xd-CNT/epoxy plaques to identify the loading effect on the mechanical properties of the composite material. Flexural results indicated homogeneity with improvements in mechanical properties of up to 15% in strength as well as modulus enhancement of up to 25%, respectively. Interfacial adhesion and dispersion were improved with viscosity reduction while utilizing the secondary mixing method. DMA tests resulted in an increase in storage modulus in the nanophased specimens as CNT loading increased. This is mainly attributed to enhanced CNT dispersion and distribution causing reduced polymer chain movement and increased stiffness. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed the fracture morphology of the tested specimens indicating proper dispersion of the xd-CNTs by fracture propagation and cleavage plane displacement.

References

References
1.
Mallick
,
P. K.
, 2008,
Fiber-Reinforced Composites
,
3rd ed.
,
Taylor & Francis Group, London/CRC, LLC
,
Boca Raton, FL
.
2.
Chen
,
W.
,
Shen
,
H.
,
Auad
,
M. L.
,
Huang
,
C.
, and
Nutt
,
S.
, 2009, “
Basalt Fiber-Epoxy Laminates with Functionalized Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
,”
Composites, Part A
,
40
, pp.
1082
1089
.
3.
Zhou
,
Y.
,
Pervin
,
F.
,
Lewis
,
L.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
, 2007, “
Experimental Study on the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Epoxy
,”
Mater. Sci. Eng., A
,
452–453
, pp.
657
664
.
4.
Zhou
,
Y.
,
Pervin
,
F.
,
Lewis
,
L.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
, 2008, “
Fabrication and Characterization of Carbon/Epoxy Composites Mixed With Multi-Walled Nanotubes
,”
Mater. Sci. Eng., A
,
475
, pp.
157
165
.
5.
Chisholm
,
N.
,
Mahfuz
,
H.
,
Rangari
,
K. V.
,
Ashfaq
,
A.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
, 2005, “
Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Carbon/SiC-Epoxy Nanocomposites
,”
Compos. Struct.
,
67
(
1
), pp.
115
124
.
6.
Wang
,
D. H.
,
Sanwook
,
S.
,
Ajit
,
K. R.
,
Jong-Beom
,
B.
, and
Loon-Seng
,
T.
, 2010, “
Nanocomposites Based on Vapor-Grown Carbon Nanofibers and an Epoxy: Functionalization, Preparation and Characterization
,”
Eur. Polym. J.
,
46
, pp.
1404
1416
.
7.
Brown
,
R.
,
Thakre
,
P.
,
Klein
,
P.
, and
Lagoudas
,
D.
, 2007, “Fabrication and Thermal Characterization of Carbon Nanotube/Epoxy Nanocomposites,”
8.
Resolution Performance Products, www.resins.comwww.resins.com, (accessed 1/15/2009).
9.
Vibracell High Intensity Ultrasonic Liquid Processors, www.sonics.comwww.sonics.com, (accessed 11/5/2010).
10.
Lampman
,
S.
, 2003,
Characterization and Failure Analysis of Plastics
,
ASM International, Materials Park
,
OH
.
11.
Abdalla
,
M.
,
Dean
,
D.
,
Theodore
,
M.
,
Fielding
,
J.
,
Nyairo
,
E.
, and
Price
,
G.
, 2010, “
Magnetically Processed Carbon Nanotube/Epoxy Nanocomposites: Morphology, Thermal and Mechanical Properties
,”
Polymer
,
51
, pp.
1614
1620
.
12.
Coleman
,
J. N.
,
Khan
,
U.
,
Blau
,
W. J.
, and
Gun’ko
,
Y. K.
, 2006, “
Small but Strong: A Review of the Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composites
,”
Carbon
,
44
(
9
), pp.
1624
1652
.
13.
Ma
,
P. C.
,
Jang-Kyo
,
K.
, and
Ben
,
Z. T.
, 2010, “
Dispersion and Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes for Polymer-Based Nanocomposites: A Review
,”
Composites, Part A
,
41
(
10
), pp.
1345
1367
.
14.
Nanotech applications, http://www.nanocompositech.comhttp://www.nanocompositech.com, (accessed 11/7/2010).
15.
Yuen
,
S.
, and
Chen-Chi
,
M. M.
, 2008, “
Morphological, Electrical, and Mechanical Properties of Multiwall Carbon Nanotube/Polysilsesquioxane Composite
,”
J. Appl. Polym. Sci.
,
109
, pp.
2000
2007
.
You do not currently have access to this content.