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Effects of coupling agents on structure and properties of polyimide/Al2O3 nanocomposite films

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of coupling agents on the structure and properties of the nanocomposite films and clarify their mechanism. Polyimide (PI)/Al2O3 nanocomposite films were prepared using different coupling agents. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Poly(amic acid) (PAA) was firstly synthesised from appropriate pyromellitic diannanocomposite and oxydianiline in N-dimethylacetamide. Calculated amount of nano-Al2O3 particles modified by different coupling agents (KH550, KH560, KH570 and AE3012) were added to PAA solution by an ultrasonic-mechanical method and PI/nano-Al2O3 film was fabricated by heat curing. The microstructure, thermal stability, mechanical properties and electric breakdown strength of the films were characterised. Findings ‐ The addition of coupling agents could greatly improve the dispersion homogeneity of Al2O3 nano-particles in PI matrix. Results of corresponding characterisations indicated that both the thermal stability and mechanical properties of PI/Al2O3 nanocomposite film with KH550 were greater/better than others, while AE3012 could improve the electric breakdown strength. Research limitations/implications ‐ In the present discussion, the effects of different coupling agents, KH550, KH560, KH570 and AE3012, were investigated. Results of this research work would be beneficial to an in-depth understanding on the relationship between microstructure and properties of PI composites, and further promote the development of the high-performance PI insulating materials. Originality/value ‐ The four coupling agents, KH550, KH560, KH570 and AE3012, were firstly used to disperse the nano-Al2O3 particles in PI matrix. The effects of coupling agents on microstructure and properties of composites were discussed by the authors in detail.
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Keywords: Composite materials; Film properties; Films (states of matter); Mechanical properties of materials; Microstructure; Thermal analysis; Thermal stability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 05 July 2011

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