In this study, sonication dispersion technique was employed to infuse 0.1–0.4 wt.% carbon nanofibers (CNFs) into polyester matrix to enhance thermomechanical properties of resulting nanocomposites. The effect of dispersion conditions has been investigated with regard to the CNF content and the sonication time. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs revealed excellent dispersion of 0.2 wt.% CNF infused in polyester, resulting in enhanced mechanical responses. Polyester with 0.2 wt.% CNF samples resulted in 88% and 16% increase in flexural strength and modulus, respectively, over the neat one. Quasi-static compression tests showed similar increasing trend with addition of CNF. Fracture morphology study of tested samples revealed relatively rougher surface in CNF-loaded polyester compared to the neat due to better interaction between the fiber and the matrix. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) study exhibited about 35% increase in the storage modulus and about 5 °C increase in the glass transition temperature (Tg). A better thermal stability in the CNF-loaded polyester was observed from the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) studies. Best results were obtained for the 0.2 wt.% CNF loading with 90 mins of sonication and 50% sonication amplitude. It is recommended that this level of sonication facilitates suitable dispersion of the CNF into polyester matrices without destroying the CNF's structure.

References

References
1.
Rashid
,
E. S. A.
,
Ariffin
,
K.
,
Kooi
,
C. C.
, and
Akil
,
H. M.
,
2009
, “
Preparation and Properties of POSS/Epoxy Composites for Electronic Packaging Application
,”
Mater. Des.
,
30
(
1
), pp.
1
8
.10.1016/j.matdes.2008.04.065
2.
Hussain
,
M.
,
Nakahira
,
A.
, and
Niihara
,
K.
,
1996
, “
Effects of Wet Ball-Milling on Particle Dispersion and Mechanical Properties of Particulate Epoxy Composites
,”
Mater. Lett.
,
26
(
3
), pp.
177
184
.10.1016/0167-577X(95)00223-5
3.
Xu
,
J.
,
Donohee
,
J. P.
, and
Pittman
,
C. U.
, Jr.
,
2004
, “
Preparation, Electrical and Mechanical Properties of Vapor Grown Carbon Fiber/Vinyl Ester Composites
,”
Composites: Part A
,
35
(
6
), pp.
693
701
.10.1016/j.compositesa.2004.02.016
4.
Pervin
,
F.
,
Zhou
,
Y.
,
Rangari
,
V.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
,
2005
, “
Testing and Evaluation on the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced SC-15 Epoxy
,”
Mater. Sci. Eng. A
,
405
(
1–2
), pp.
246
253
.10.1016/j.msea.2005.06.012
5.
Shiu
,
S. C.
, and
Tsai
,
J. L.
,
2014
, “
Characterizing Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Graphene/Epoxy Nanocomposites
,”
Composites Part B
,
56
, pp.
691
697
.10.1016/j.compositesb.2013.09.007
6.
Weinekotter
,
R.
, and
Gericke
,
H.
,
2000
,
Mixing of Solids
,
Kluwer Academic Publishers
,
Dordrecht
, pp.
15
34
.
7.
Fan
,
L. T.
,
Chen
,
Y. M.
, and
Lai
,
F. S.
,
1990
, “
Recent Development in Solids Mixing
,”
Powder Technol.
,
61
(
3
), pp.
255
278
.10.1016/0032-5910(90)80092-D
8.
Danckwerts
,
P. V.
,
1953
, “
Theory of Mixture and Mixing
,”
Research
,
6
, pp.
355
361
.
9.
Hossain
,
M. E.
,
Hossain
,
M. K.
,
Hosur
,
M.
, and
Jeelai
,
S.
,
2011
, “
Study of Mechanical Responses and Thermal Expansion of CNF Modified Polyester Nanocomposites Processed by Different Mixing Systems
,”
MRS Proc.
,
1312
, p.
111
.10.1557/opl.2011.111
10.
Prolongo
,
S. G.
,
Buron
,
M.
,
Gude
,
M. R.
,
Chaos-Moran
,
R.
,
Campo
,
M.
, and
Urena
,
A.
,
2008
, “
Effects of Dispersion Techniques of Carbon Nanofibers on the Thermo-Physical Properties of Epoxy Nanocomposites
,”
Compos. Sci. Technol.
,
68
(
13
), pp.
2722
2730
.10.1016/j.compscitech.2008.05.015
11.
Rana
,
S.
,
Alagirusamy
,
R.
, and
Joshi
,
M.
,
2010
, “
Mechanical Behavior of Carbon Nanofibre-Reinforced Epoxy Composites
,”
J Appl. Polym. Sci.
,
118
(
4
), pp.
2276
2283
.10.1002/app.30861
12.
Eskin
,
G. I.
,
2001
, “
Broad Prospects for Commercial Application of the Ultrasonic (Cavitation) Melt Treatment of Light Alloys
,”
Ultrason. Sonochem.
,
8
(
3
), pp.
319
325
.10.1016/S1350-4177(00)00074-2
13.
Hossain
,
M. E.
,
Hossain
,
M. K.
,
Hosur
,
M.
, and
Jeelai
,
S.
,
2010
, “
Investigation of Carbon Nanofibers (CNFs) Effects on the Flexural and Thermal Behavior of E-Glass/Polyester Composites
,”
ASME
Paper No. IMECE2010-39336.10.1115/IMECE2010-39336
14.
Chisholm
,
N.
,
Mahfuz
,
H.
,
Rangari
,
V. K.
,
Adnan
,
A.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
,
2005
, “
Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Carbon/SiC-Epoxy Nanocomposites
,”
Compos. Struct.
,
67
(
1
), pp.
115
124
.10.1016/j.compstruct.2004.01.010
15.
Tsai
,
J. L.
,
Tzeng
,
S.
, and
Chiu
,
Y.
,
2010
, “
Characterizing Elastic Properties of Carbon Nanotubes/Polyimide Nanocomposites Using Multi-Scale Simulation
,”
Composites Part B
,
41
(
1
), pp.
106
115
.10.1016/j.compositesb.2009.06.003
16.
Dong
,
C.
, and
Davies
,
I. J.
,
2012
, “
Flexural Properties of Macadamia Nutshell Particle Reinforced Polyester Composites
,”
Composites Part B
,
43
(
7
), pp.
2751
2756
.10.1016/j.compositesb.2012.04.035
17.
Hossain
,
M. K.
,
Hossain
,
M. E.
,
Hosur
,
M.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
,
2009
, “
Mechanical and Thermal Characterization of CNF Filled Polyester Nanophased Composites
,”
8th International Conference on Mechanical Engineering 2009 (ICME2009)
, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dec. 26–28, Paper No. ICME09-AM-12.
18.
Hossain
,
M. K.
,
Hossain
,
M. E.
,
Hosur
,
M.
,
Jeelani
,
S.
, and
Rangari
,
V.
,
2010
,
Fabrication and Thermomechanical Characterization of CNF-Filled Polyester and E-Glass/Polyester Nanophased Composites
,”
Proceeding of the NSTI-Nanotech
(Nanotech 2011), Boston, June 13–16, Vol.
1
, pp.
111
114
.
19.
US Composites, 2010, “Chemicals and Catalysts,” US Composites, West Palm Beach, FL, accessed June 11, 2010, www.uscomposites.com/solvents.html
20.
Sakin
,
R.
,
Ay
,
I.
, and
Yaman
,
R.
,
2008
, “
An Investigation of Bending Fatigue Behavior for Glass-Fiber Reinforced Polyester Composite Materials
,”
Mater. Des.
,
29
(
1
), pp.
212
217
.10.1016/j.matdes.2006.11.006
21.
ASTM, 2001, “Standard Practice for Plastics: Dynamic Mechanical Properties: Determination and Report of Procedures,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA,
ASTM
Standard No. D4065-01.10.1520/D4065-01
22.
Li
,
X. F.
,
Lau
,
K. T.
, and
Yin
,
Y. S.
,
2008
, “
Mechanical Properties of Epoxy-Based Composites Using Coiled Carbon Naotubes
,”
Compos. Sci. Technol.
,
68
(
14
), pp.
2876
2881
.10.1016/j.compscitech.2007.10.019
23.
Iwahori
,
Y.
,
Ishiwata
,
S.
,
Sumizawa
,
T.
, and
Ishikawa
,
T.
,
2005
, “
Mechanical Properties Improvements in Two-Phase and Three-Phase Composites Using Carbon Nano-Fiber Dispersed Resin
,”
Compos: Part A
,
36
(
10
), pp.
1430
1439
.10.1016/j.compositesa.2004.11.017
24.
Montazeri
,
A.
,
Montazeri
,
N.
,
Pourshamsian
,
K.
, and
Tcharkhtchi
,
A.
,
2011
, “
The Effect of Sonication Time and Dispersing Medium on the Mechanical Properties of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT)/Epoxy Composite
,”
Int. J. Polym. Anal. Charact.
,
16
(
7
), pp.
465
476
.10.1080/1023666X.2011.600517
25.
Hossain
,
M. K.
,
Hossain
,
M. E.
,
Hosur
,
M.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
,
2011
, “
Flexural and Compression Response of Woven E-Glass/Polyester-CNF Nanophased Composites
,”
Composite Part A
,
42
(
11
), pp.
1774
1782
.10.1016/j.compositesa.2011.07.033
26.
Hossain
,
M. E.
,
Hossain
,
M. K.
,
Hosur
,
M.
, and
Jeelani
,
S.
,
2014
, “
Low-Velocity Impact Behavior of CNF-Filled Glass-Reinforced Polyester Composites
,”
J. Composite Mater.
,
48
(
7
), pp.
879
896
.10.1177/0021998313480194
27.
Hussain
,
M.
,
Nakahira
,
A.
, and
Niihara
,
K.
,
1996
, “
Mechanical Property Improvement of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites by Al2O3 Filler Dispersion
,”
Mater. Lett.
,
26
(
3
), pp.
185
191
.10.1016/0167-577X(95)00224-3
28.
Tsantzalis
,
S.
,
Karapappas
,
P.
,
Vavouliotis
,
A.
,
Tsotra
,
P.
,
Paipetis
,
A.
, and
Kostopoulos
,
V.
,
2007
, “
Enhancement of the Mechanical Performance of an Epoxy Resin and Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Resin Composites by the Introduction of CNF and PZT Particles at the Microscale
,”
Composites: Part A
,
38
(
4
), pp.
1076
1081
.10.1016/j.compositesa.2006.04.015
29.
Jawahar
,
P.
,
Gnanamoorthy
,
R.
, and
Balasubramanian
,
M.
,
2006
, “
Tribological Behavior of Clay-Thermoset Polyester Nanocomposites
,”
Wear
,
261
(
7–8
), pp.
835
840
.10.1016/j.wear.2006.01.010
30.
Ma
,
H.
,
Zeng
,
J.
,
Realff
,
M. L.
,
Kumar
,
S.
, and
Schiraldi
,
D. A.
,
2003
, “
Processing, Structure, and Properties of Fibers From Polyester/Carbon Nanofiber Composites
,”
Compos. Sci. Technol.
,
63
(
11
), pp.
1617
1628
.10.1016/S0266-3538(03)00071-X
31.
Kozey
,
V. V.
,
Jiang
,
H.
,
Mehta
,
V. R.
, and
Kumar
,
S.
,
1995
, “
Compressive Behavior of Materials, Part II: High Performance Fibers
,”
J. Mater. Res.
,
10
(
4
), pp.
1044
1061
.10.1557/JMR.1995.1044
32.
Hossain
,
M. K.
,
Hossain
,
M. E.
,
Dewan
,
M. W.
,
Hosur
,
M.
, and
Jeelai
,
S.
,
2013
, “
Effects of Carbon Nano Fibers (CNFs) on Thermal and Interlaminar Shear Responses of E-Glass/Polyester Composites
,”
Composites Part B: Eng.
,
44
(
1
), pp.
313
320
.10.1016/j.compositesb.2012.05.006
33.
Ahmad
,
Z.
,
Sarwar
,
M. I.
, and
Mark
,
J. E.
,
1997
, “
Dynamic-Mechanical Thermal Analysis of Aramid–Silica Hybrid Composites Prepared in a Sol–Gel Process
,”
Appl. Polym. Sci.
,
63
(
10
), pp.
1345
1352
.10.1002/(SICI)1097-4628(19970307)63:10<1345::AID-APP14>3.0.CO;2-3
34.
Jo
,
B. W.
,
Park
,
S. K.
, and
Kim
,
D. K.
,
2008
, “
Mechanical Properties of Nano-MMT Reinforced Polymer Composite and Polymer Concrete
,”
Construct. Build. Mater.
,
22
(
1
), pp.
14
20
.10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2007.02.009
35.
Green
,
K. J.
,
Dean
,
D. R.
,
Vaidya
,
U. K.
, and
Nyairo
,
E.
,
2009
, “
Multiscale Fiber Reinforced Composites Based on a Carbon Nanofiber/Epoxy Nanophased Polymer Matrix: Synthesis, Mechanical and Thermomechanical Behavior
,”
Composite: Part A
,
40
(
9
), pp.
1470
1475
.10.1016/j.compositesa.2009.05.010
36.
Liu
,
W.
,
Hoa
,
S. V.
, and
Pugh
,
M.
,
2005
, “
Organoclay-Modified High Performance Epoxy Nanocomposites
,”
Comp. Sci. Technol.
,
65
(
2
), pp.
307
316
.10.1016/j.compscitech.2004.07.012
You do not currently have access to this content.