Epoxy Nano-Reinforced Composite Systems

Report No. ARL-CR-601
Authors: Nicole E. Zander
Date/Pages: February 2008; 20 pages
Abstract: Mechanical properties of epoxy nanocomposite systems were evaluated for nanoclay platelets, nanosilica spheres, and carbon nanotube fillers. The effect of surface modifiers, such as quaternary ammonium salts and epoxy groups, was examined. The Youngs modulus and tensile strength for epoxy-clay systems are dependent on the chain length of the alkylammonium modifier. Longer chains allowed better intercalation and mechanical properties. For nanosilica composites, interparticle distance played a key role in the toughness of the composite. Peak performance of the composite was achieved when the spacing between particles equaled the particle diameter. Surface modification with pendant epoxy groups allowed the particles to react into the matrix with the curing agent and achieve proper dispersion. Carbon nanotubes were dispersed in the epoxy matrix via a plasma treatment that afforded free radical sites for maleic anhydride grafting. Higher modulus, strength, and 2 orders of magnitude higher conductivity were observed for the functionalized carbon nanotubes.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2008