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Research Papers

Experimental Study on Mechanical Properties of Epoxy/MWCNT Nanocomposites—Effects of Acid Treatment, Pressured Curing, and Liquid Rubber

[+] Author and Article Information
Yuan Li

Department of Nanomechanics,  Tohoku University, Aramaki-Aza-Aoba 6-6-01, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8579, Japan

Ning Hu1

Department of Chongqing University of Science & Technology,Daxuecheng, Chongqing 401331, P.R. China; Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522, Japanhuning@faculty.chiba-u.jp

Takashi Kojima

Department of Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology,  Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522, Japan

Takaomi Itoi, Tomonori Watanabe, Takaya Nakamura, Naoya Takizawa, Tsukuru Inoue, Hao Cui

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522, Japan

Satoshi Atobe, Hisao Fukunaga

Department of Aerospace Engineering,  Tohoku University, Aramaki-Aza-Aoba 6-6-01, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8579, Japan

1

Corresponding author.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 3(1), 011004 (Aug 10, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007018 History: Received February 21, 2012; Revised March 11, 2012; Published August 10, 2012; Online August 10, 2012

The unique properties of carbon nanotube (CNT) have made it very attractive as reinforcement in polymer nanocomposites in the hope of effectively improving the mechanical properties. In order to explore the effects of three appealing influencing factors, i.e., acid treatment, pressured curing, and liquid rubber (LR) on mechanical properties of nanocomposites, tensile tests, and single-edge notched bending (SENB) tests are carried out for four types of CNT-reinforced nanocomposites. Compared with type I of nanocomposites using pristine multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) as reinforcement for epoxy, which are termed as Epoxy/MWCNT, type II of Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH nanocomposites with acid-treated MWCNTs as reinforcement, show obvious improvement on tensile properties and fracture toughness. This positive effect of acid treatment can be attributed to better dispersion of CNTs and stronger interface based on the corresponding fracture surfaces. For type III of P-Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH nanocomposites under pressured curing, although the voids in samples are decreased effectively and the interface is strengthened, there is no expected positive results because of severe CNTs agglomeration. For type IV of P-Epoxy/LR/MWCNT-COOH nanocomposites, addition of LR results in at least around a threefold increase in fracture toughness compared with that of P-Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH, indicating the amazing effect of LR. The present work provides much more choices for fabricating specific CNT-reinforced nanocomposites with desired properties by reasonably combining proper fabrication conditions including acid treatment, pressured curing, liquid rubber with polymer matrix, and reinforcement loading.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Fabrication process for type I of Epoxy/MWCNT nanocomposites

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Figure 2

Effect of acid treatment: comparison of mechanical properties between Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH and Epoxy/MWCNT nanocomposites: (a) Young’s modulus, (b) tensile strength, (c) tensile strain at break, and (d) fracture toughness

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Figure 3

Effect of pressured curing: comparison of mechanical properties between P-Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH and Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH nanocomposites: (a) Young’s modulus, (b) tensile strength, (c) tensile strain at break, and (d) fracture toughness

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Figure 4

Effect of LR: comparison of mechanical properties between P-Epoxy/LR/MWCNT-COOH and P-Epoxy/ MWCNT-COOH nanocomposites: (a) Young’s modulus, (b) tensile strength, (c) tensile strain at break, and (d) fracture toughness

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Figure 5

Comparisons of fracture surfaces for various nanocomposites: (a) Epoxy/MWCNT (0.2 wt. %), (b) Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH (0.2 wt. %), (c) Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH (2 wt. %), (d) P-Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH (2 wt. %), (e) Pull-out of MWCNT-COOH in Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH (2 wt. %), and (f) Sword-in-sheath mode of MWCNT-COOH in P-Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH (2 wt. %)

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Figure 6

Effect of LR: comparison of fracture surfaces for SENB tests: (a) P-Epoxy/MWCNT-COOH (0.2 wt. %) and (b) P-Epoxy/LR/MWCNT-COOH (0.2 wt. %)

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Figure 7

Comparison of experimental and theoretical results on mechanical properties for Epoxy/MWCNT nanocomposites (Ec : Young’s modulus, σb : Tensile strength)

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