Enhancing mechanical properties of epoxy resin while reducing viscosity using “liquid nano-reinforcement”


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Graphitic carbon nanofibers (GNFs) were first made into a “liquid nano-reinforcement” (LNR) that is composed of reactive nanofibers (r-GNFs) and an epoxy diluent through chemically reacting the functionalized GNFs with the diluents. Due to the uniform dispersion of r-GNFs in the diluent, simply mixing the LNR with epoxy led to a nano-modified epoxy with uniform dispersion of nanofibers, a so-called nano-epoxy. More importantly, the nanofibers were involved in the cross-linking structures of the epoxy through covalent bonding between the matrix and nanofibers. Results showed that the nano-epoxy possesses dramatically enhanced various performances by simply mixing two kinds of liquids: a very small amount of LNR, functioning as a “nector” and a base epoxy matrix. Compared with that of the pure epoxy resin, the enhancements in performances of the nano-epoxy with only 0.3wt% nanofibers include over 30% in flexural strength, 35% in flexural modulus, and 45% fracture toughness, as well as dramatically reduced viscosity (50% lower than pure epoxy), a significant factor in fiber composite manufacturing efficiency due to reduced power requirements for flow and part consolidation.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2011: Advanced Materials, CNTs, Particles, Films and Composites
Published: June 13, 2011
Pages: 507 - 510
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications, Composite Materials
ISBN: 978-1-4398-7142-3