Epoxy-silica nanocomposites: Preparation, experimental characterization, and modeling

Authors

  • Federica Bondioli,

    1. Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e dell'Ambiente, Via Vignolese 905/A, 41100 Modena, Italy
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  • Valeria Cannillo,

    1. Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e dell'Ambiente, Via Vignolese 905/A, 41100 Modena, Italy
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  • Elena Fabbri,

    1. Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e dell'Ambiente, Via Vignolese 905/A, 41100 Modena, Italy
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  • Massimo Messori

    Corresponding author
    1. Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e dell'Ambiente, Via Vignolese 905/A, 41100 Modena, Italy
    • Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e dell'Ambiente, Via Vignolese 905/A, 41100 Modena, Italy
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Abstract

Silica nanoparticles having different sizes were obtained by the sol-gel process and characterized. The prepared nanoparticles were subsequently used as reinforcing fillers to prepare epoxy-based composites with a silica content ranging from 1 to 5 wt %. SEM analysis and tensile tests carried out on the silica-epoxy nanocomposites indicated the absence of particle aggregation and a reinforcing effect in terms of increased elastic modulus. Mechanical properties were also modeled by using a finite element code able to construct a numerical model from a microstructural image of the material. A more reliable model was prepared by considering the presence of an interphase layer surrounding the particles with intermediate elastic properties between the epoxy and the inclusions and a characteristic size proportional to the particle radius. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 97: 2382–2386, 2005

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