Nanotech 2011

Do CNT’s Release During Life Cycle Performance of Polymer Nanocomposites? (invited presentation)

T. Nguyen, B. Pellegrin, C. Bernard, X. Gu, M. Zhao, J. Chin
National Institute of Standards and Technology, US

Keywords: CNT, nanocomposites


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being investigated as nanofillers to enhance multiple properties of polymeric materials. This study has assessed the fate of MWCNTs in epoxy nanocomposites exposed to 300-400 UV radiation using specially-designed holders. Nanocomposite films were analyzed for chemical degradation, mass loss, composite surface morphology, and CNT release with exposure time. Epoxy composites containing MWCNTs chemically degraded at a slower rate than that of unfilled epoxy. Photodegradation of the matrix resulted in a large concentration increase and network aggregation of MWCNTs on the nanocomposite surface (Figure 1). Analysis of materials on the collector surface after nine month UV exposure showed no evidence of CNTs release into the environment. A conceptual model for CNTs network aggregation at the nanocomposite surfaces that minimizes its release will be presented.

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