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Preparation of graphene/poly(vinyl alcohol) nanocomposites with enhanced mechanical properties and water resistance

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The control and dispersal of graphene nanosheets in polymer hosts are challenges in the development of high‐performance graphene‐based nanocomposites due to the strong interlayer cohesive energy and surface inertia. Here we report a simple and practical approach to synthesize graphene‐reinforced poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) composite films by incorporating graphene oxide and graphene into PVA aqueous solution. The resulting nanocomposites revealed increases of up to 212% in tensile strength and 34% in elongation at break with only 0.5 wt% graphene content. Water absorption measurements showed that the water absorption ratio of the graphene/PVA composites decreased from 105.2 to 48.8%, and the barrier properties were obviously improved. Contact angle measurements showed that the composites were hydrophobic ( > 90°) in contrast to the highly hydrophilic ( < 90°) pure PVA. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: PVA; barrier properties; graphene; hydrophobic; mechanical properties; nanocomposites

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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