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Improving the dispersion and mechanical properties of epoxy/carbon nanotube composites
conference contributionposted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Nishar Hameed, M Sona, N Salim, T Hanley, Qipeng Guo
The incorporation and uniform dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in polymer matrix could facilitate engineers to create high performance nanocomposites that potentially compete with most advanced materials in nature. The unique combination of outstanding mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of CNTs makes them excellent nanofillers for the fabrication of advanced materials. Successful enhancement in mechanical properties via reinforcement is expected only when the nanofillers are well dispersed in the polymer matrix. Moreover, the orientation as well as the CNT/matrix interfacial strength also determines the effective physical properties of the nanocomposites. However, CNTs typically assemble to give bundles, which are heavily entangled to each other with a high aspect ratio and a large π-electronic surface. In this work, we outline some preliminary results in preparing high performance epoxy composites. Composites with fine dispersion and superior mechanical properties were prepared using epoxy and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The fine dispersion of the nanocomposites can be identified in the high resolution SEM image shown in Figure 1. This method can provide an alternative route for the preparation of new structural and functional nanocomposites.