Nanotech 2010

Trifunctional Epoxy – SWNTs Composites. a New Non – Covalent SWNTs Integration Approach

J.M. González-Domínguez, A. Ansón-Casaos, A.M. Díez-Pascual, B. Ashrafi, M. Naffakh, A. Johnston, M.A. Gómez, M.T. Martínez
Instituto de Carboquimica (CSIC), ES

Keywords: single walled carbon nanotubes, epoxy, block copolymers


Properly dispersing CNTs within polymers, specifically egarding epoxy matrices, is extremely difficult. A novel non-covalent functionalization technique, in which a block copolymer (Pluronic F68) is used to wrap SWNTs, has been developed combining both concepts: debundling and toughening effect. The application of this functionalization resulted in a better miscibility of SWNTs within an aerospace-grade trifunctional epoxy (TGAP-DDS epoxy system) which allowed to be carried out solventless. The successful integration of Pluronic-wrapped SWNTs was studied in terms of curing kinetics revealing an improvement of the mobility of species by the BC presence. This novel approach to reinforce epoxy matrices with PEO-based amphiphylic BCs and SWNTs has displayed interesting improvements with respect to the neat epoxy: toughness enhanced in 218%, increased electrical conductivity in 9 orders and the overall unchanged stiffness of the bulk matrix despite the Pluronic plasticizing effect are highlighted data revealed in our current studies. In general terms, this methodology could harmlessly provide important enhancements of physical properties with very small amounts of SWNTs.
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