Effect of UV Radiation on the Mechanical Performance of Phenolic and Epoxy Nanocomposites

S. Brundidge-Young, H. Aglan
Tuskegee University, US

Keywords: nanocomposites, UV radiation, mechanical properties, morphology

Summary:

Polymer nanocomposites are currently being used and have the potential of use in a broad range of applications. The study of the durability of such materials is instrumental in determining the suitability for use in particular applications. Polymeric materials are particularly susceptible to UV radiation. Understanding the means by which these systems degrade can also aid in the development of methods to hinder the degradation of the polymeric systems. In this study, phenolic and epoxy resins were reinforced with alumina nanofibers (ANFs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The loading of the nano-reinforcements were kept the same for both the epoxy and phenolic systems at 0.15% by weight. Specimens were exposed to UV radiation for one, two and three months. The mechanical performance and morphological features of the nanocomposites were evaluated after UV exposure. These properties were compared to the properties of pristine materials. The mechanical performance of the phenolic systems was similarly affected with the addition of nanoparticles; while the type of reinforcement had more of an effect on the mechanical behavior of the epoxy based systems.