Nanotech 2010

Fabrication and Thermomechanical Characterization of CNF-Filled Polyester and E-Glass/Polyester Nanophased Composites

M.K. Hossain, M.E. Hossain, M. Hosur, S. Jeelani, V. Rangari
Tuskegee University, US

Keywords: CNF, VARTM, NP, GRP, TEM, DMA, TGA, TMA

Abstract:

A high intensity ultrasonic liquid processor was used to infuse CNFs into the polyester matrix which was then mixed with catalyst using a high speed mechanical agitator. Results showed the significant improvement of mechanical properties in the dispersion of CNFs in sonication over the mechanical mixing, magnetic stirring and thinky mixing methods. Flexure tests performed on the neat polyester (NP), 0.1wt.%, 0.2 wt.%, 0.3 wt.% and 0.4 wt.% CNF-filled polyester (CNF-FP) showed 86% and 16% increase in flexural strength and modulus, respectively, compared to the unfilled polyester with increasing loading percentage of CNF up to 0.2%. Both neat and nanophased glass reinforced polyester (GRP) composites were fabricated by using vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM), a low cost, simplified, and environment-friendly method of processing. Similar increasing trend in the mechanical properties was observed in these nanophased GRP composites. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) micrographs and X-Ray diffraction (XRD) analysis exhibited the better dispersion of CNFs in the 0.2 wt.% CNF filled polyester matrix. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) studies indicated an increase of about 35% and 92% in the storage modulus, and slight increasing trend of glass-transition-temperature (Tg) in the CNF-FP and CNF-filled-GRP composites, respectively, as compared to the conventional ones.
 
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