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The effect of alternate heating rates during cure on the structure-property relationships of epoxy/MMT clay nanocomposites

journal contribution
posted on 2011-10-24, 00:00 authored by Betime Nuhiji, D Attard, G Thorogood, T Hanley, Kevin Magniez, Bronwyn Fox
This paper investigates the effect of both the mixing technique and heating rate during cure on the dispersion of montmorillonite (MMT) clay in an epoxy resin. The combination of sonication and using a 10. °C/min heating rate during cure was found to facilitate the dispersion of nanoclay in epoxy resin. These processing conditions provided a synergistic effect, making it possible for polymer chains to penetrate in-between clay galleries and detach platelets from their agglomerates. As the degree of dispersion was enhanced, the flexural modulus and strength properties were found to decrease by 15% and 40%, respectively. This is thought to be due to individual platelets fracturing in the nanocomposite. Complementary techniques including X-ray diffraction (XRD), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and optical microscopy were essential to fully characterise localised and spatial regions of the clay morphologies.

History

Journal

Composites science and technology

Volume

71

Issue

15

Pagination

1761 - 1768

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0266-3538

eISSN

1879-1050

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Elsevier