Block Copolymer Assisted Dispersion of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Integration into a Trifunctional Epoxy
Arc discharge single walled carbon nanotubes were processed by acid treatment, dispersion in a Pluronic F68 block copolymer aqueous solution and centrifugation. The as-prepared material was characterized by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy, showing an important degree of debundling as well as the removal of most of the graphitic and metallic impurities from pristine nanotubes. The nanotube-Pluronic material was integrated into an advanced trifunctional epoxy resin, triglycidyl p-aminophenol, using 4,4′-diaminodiphenylsulfone as the curing agent. The material was incorporated into the epoxy system (0.1, 0.25, 0.50, 1.0, 2.0 wt%) throughout hot magnetic stirring and ultrasonication. Curing kinetics was studied using differential scanning calorimetry, applying the Vyazovkin's isoconversional method. In the early stages of curing, the kinetic study revealed a decrease in the activation energy for samples containing Pluronic, suggesting that Pluronic induced an improvement in the mobility of reactants. The cured composites were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Micrographs revealed successful integration and homogeneous distribution of the nanotube-Pluronic material in the epoxy matrix, while direct integration of bare nanotubes originated aggregates and inhomogeneity.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-10-01
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