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Mechanical Characteriztion of XD-Grade Carbon Nanotube/Epon 862 Processed by Dual Phase Dispersion Technique

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

Keywords: xd-CNTs, ultrasonic, SEM, DMA


In this research, a dual-phase dispersion method is studied combining a high intensity ultrasonic liquid processor with a three roll milling technique. Xd-grade carbon nanotubes (xd-CNTs) were infused into Epon 862 epoxy and then mixed with epicure curing agent W using a high-speed mechanical agitator. Flexural and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) were performed on neat, 0.015wt.%, and 0.15wt.% xd-CNT-filled epoxy to identify the loading effect on the mechanical properties of the composite materials. Flexural tests were performed using a Zwick Roell testing machine under displacement control mode at a crosshead speed of 2.0 mm/min. Flexural results indicate homogeneity with improvements in mechanical properties of up to 15% in strength as well as modulus enhancement of up to 25%, respectively. Interfacial adhesion and dispersion are improved with viscosity reduction and secondary three roll mixing method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) performed using Joel 2001 at 5 and 10kV depict the fracture morphology of the tested specimens indicating proper dispersion of the xd-CNTs by fracture propagation and cleavage plane displacement. DMA studies performed using TA Instrument Q800 operating in three-point bending mode at an oscillation frequency of 1Hz revealed an increase in storage modulus in the nanophased specimens as CNT loading increased.
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