Fabrication of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube/Vinyl Ester Nanocomposites: Dispersion and Stabilization
Excellent physical and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) make them outstanding candidate as fillers to fabricate multi-functional polymer composites. It is assumed that a high level of dispersion in the preparation stage may lead to a more effective nanocomposite. In this research, the dispersion state of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) at various contents in an unsaturated vinyl ester resin is investigated during fabrication by on-line monitoring the viscosity of suspensions as a function of sonication time and energy introduced. The results show that initial viscosities of suspensions increase by adding more MWNTs to the resin. The viscosities gradually increase during the sonication and reach to maximum values, when it is assumed that the dispersion is completed. After this step the viscosity subsequently decreases. The energy density required to achieve a good dispersion of MWNTs in vinyl ester is obtained. The qualities of dispersion in cured composites are characterized by examining the sections using the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to confirm the results of viscosity measurements. The stabilization of MWNTs is achieved by adding a commercial dispersant and stabilizer, BYK-P 104S, by 0.0375 wt% . The results indicate that adding more surfactant to the suspension makes it unstable and leads to flocculation. The stabilization of suspensions is investigated by using viscosity measurement. Also, FT-IR is used to determine the possible mechanism of surfactant to stabilize the MWNTs in vinyl ester.
Andreas Öchsner, Graeme E. Murch and João M.P.Q. Delgado
M. Chitsazzadeh et al., "Fabrication of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube/Vinyl Ester Nanocomposites: Dispersion and Stabilization", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 312-315, pp. 460-465, 2011