Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Effect of Non-Woven Carbon Nanofiber Mat Presence on Cure Kinetics of Epoxy Nanocomposites

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An investigation was carried out into the cure kinetics of carbon nanofiber (CNF) mat-epoxy nanocomposites, composed of bisphenol-A based epoxy resin and diethylene triamine as a curing agent. It was observed that the rate of cure reaction for CNF mat-epoxy nanocomposites was higher than that for neat epoxy resin at low curing temperatures and the presence of the CNF mat produced the maximum influence at a certain curing temperature and time. At high curing temperature and long curing times, the effect of CNF mat on the cure rate was insignificant. The CNF mat-epoxy composite exhibited somewhat lower value of activation energy than that of the neat epoxy system at the beginning of the curing stage. The weight fraction of CNF mat also affected the cure reaction of epoxy nanocomposites at the same curing temperature. As the amount of CNF mat increased, the cure rate was higher at the same cure time. However, at high CNF mat loading, the cure reaction was retarded since the amount of epoxy and hardener decreased dramatically at high CNF contents together with the hindering effect of the CNF mat on the diffusion of epoxy resin and the curing agent, leading to lower crosslinking efficiency. Although the curing efficiency of epoxy nanocomposites dropped at high CNF mat content, the glass transition temperature (Tg) was still high due to the ultra-high strength of the CNF mat. The cure kinetics of CNF mat-epoxy nanocomposites was in good agreement with Kamal's model.

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Macromolecular Symposia





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