From carbon nanotubes and silicate layers to graphene platelets for polymer nanocomposites

Zaman, Izzuddin and Kuan, Hsu-Chiang and Dai, Jingfei and Kawashima, Nobuyuki and Michelmore, Andrew and Sovi, Alex and Dong, Songyi and Luong, Lee and Ma, Jun (2012) From carbon nanotubes and silicate layers to graphene platelets for polymer nanocomposites. Nanoscale, 4 . pp. 4578-4586. ISSN 2040-3364

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Abstract

In spite of extensive studies conducted on carbon nanotubes and silicate layers for their polymer-based nanocomposites, the rise of graphene now provides a more promising candidate due to its exceptionally high mechanical performance and electrical and thermal conductivities. The present study developed a facile approach to fabricate epoxy–graphene nanocomposites by thermally expanding a commercial product followed by ultrasonication and solution-compounding with epoxy, and investigated their morphologies, mechanical properties, electrical conductivity and thermal mechanical behaviour. Graphene platelets (GnPs) of 3.57 ± 0.50 nm in thickness were created after the expanded product was dispersed in tetrahydrofuran using 60 min ultrasonication. Since epoxy resins cured by various hardeners are widely used in industries, we chose two common hardeners: polyoxypropylene (J230) and 4,4 0 -diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS). DDS-cured nanocomposites showed a better dispersion and exfoliation of GnPs, a higher improvement (573%) in fracture energy release rate and a lower percolation threshold (0.612 vol%) for electrical conductivity, because DDS contains benzene groups which create p–p interactions with GnPs promoting a higher degree of dispersion and exfoliation of GnPs during curing. This research pointed out a potential trend where GnPs would replace carbon nanotubes and silicate layers for many applications of polymer nanocomposites.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:nanocomposite; epoxy; graphene platelet; toughness; electrical conductivity
Subjects:T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA401-492 Materials of engineering and construction. Mechanics of materials
Divisions:Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering > Department of Engineering Mechanics
ID Code:6231
Deposited By:Dr Izzuddin Zaman
Deposited On:08 Dec 2014 14:38
Last Modified:08 Dec 2014 14:38

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