Nanotech 2010

Epoxy Polymer Nanocomposites Reinforced With Carbon Nanotubes Modified With Keratin

C. Velasco-Santos, A.L. Martínez-Hernández, A. Precoma Rangel, J.L. Rivera-Armenta
Instituto Tecnologico De Queretaro, MX

Keywords: chemical functionalization, carbon nanotubes, polymer nanocomposites


Research involving polymer nanocomposites developed with carbon nanotubes (CNs) has been growth significantly in the last seven years. New functionalization routes are proposed constantly with the aim to diversify the use of CNs as reinforcement of polymer matrices. Thus, in this research, the development of epoxy polymer nanocomposites reinforced with modified CNs is shown. Functionalization of nanotubes with keratin obtained from chicken feathers is achieved using two different chemical routes. Protein is linked to the nanotubes through wrapping maintaining CNs structure and also using oxidation (broken nanotube surface) and then grafting keratin. Modified CNs are characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy, Raman and Infrared spectroscopies. Polymer nanocomposites developed with unmodified and functionalized CNs were characterized by Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Composites with a slight quantity of grafted nanotubes with protein show significant increments in storage modulus in comparison with polymer nanocomposite which contain keratin-wrapped nanotubes. Molecular factors which influence mechanical and thermal response are also discussed.
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