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Hybrid Nanocomposites: Processing and Properties

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Epoxy/S2-glass reinforced composites (SGRPs) infused with Cloisite 30B nanoclays were manufactured using the vacuum assisted resin infusion molding (VARIM) process. Prior to infusion, the matrix and clays were thoroughly mixed using a direct mixing technique (DMT) and a high shear mixing technique (HSMT) to ensure uniform dispersion of the nanoclays. Structures with varying clay contents (1–3 wt%) were manufactured. Both pristine and SGRP nanocomposites were then subjected to mechanical testing. For the specimens manufactured by DMT, the tensile, flexural, and compressive modulus increased with increasing the clay content. Similarly, the tensile, flexural, compressive, interlaminate shear and impact strength increased with the addition of 1 wt% clay; however the trend reversed with further increase in the clay content. Specimens manufactured by HSMT showed superior properties compared to those of nanocomposites containing 1 wt% clay produced by DMT. In order to understand these phenomena a morphological study was conducted. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) micrographs revealed that HSMT led to better dispersion and changed the nanoclay structure from orderly intercalation to disorderly intercalation giving multi-directional strength.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156855109X434757

Affiliations: 1: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa 2: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa;, Email: kannyk@dut.ac.za

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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