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Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Epoxy Based Composites with Poss Modified Carbon Nanotubes


CNTs have been used as extremely strong nano-reinforcements for composites, which possess extraordinarily high strength with low weight and moderate electrostatic discharge properties. However, the scope of CNT applications in practical devices has been largely hampered by their poor dispersion in polymer resin and weak interfacial bonding with polymer matrix. Therefore, modification of the CNT surface and good dispersion of carbon nanotubes are required for industrial applications of the CNTs. A novel sonochemical method has been developed to infuse Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS) nanoparticles onto multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) for used in polymer-based composite systems. OctaIsobutyl POSS nanoparticles were coated on CNTs using a high-intensity ultrasound irradiation. In a typical reaction, 1 gram of POSS and 1 gram of CNTs were taken in a 100 ml of chloroform and irradiated with high intensity ultrasonic horn for 3hrs at 5oC. The reaction product is thoroughly washed with double distilled water and then with absolute ethanol. The as prepared POSS/CNTs were characterized using a high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM), and thermogravimetric (TGA) analysis. Utilizing in-situ polymerization 0.5 and 1 wt% loading of these POSS/CNTs were further used as a reinforcement material in epoxy based resin (Epon 863) and cured with epicure W curing agent at 80oC for 1 hour than at 121oC for an additional hour. The compression tests were carried out by ASTM standards and compared with the reinforcement of polymer with pristine CNTs. Other mechanical properties were tested by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA).

Address Goals

These results indicates a one step process of coating of CNTs with POSS nanoparticles and improve the mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy based nanocomposites. This method can be extended to other nanoparticles coating on CNTs.