Nanocomposites using EPON 824 as their matrix were exposed to pulse laser at 532 nm for various time intervals. The developed nanomaterials used for this study were manufactured using EPON 824 with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) at a loading rate of 0.15% by weight and nanoclays at a loading rate of 2% by weight as reinforcements. The effect of laser irradiation on polymer composites has been investigated. The degradation mechanism for the epoxy was of a laser induced burning nature. Of all specimens tested, the ultimate strength of the MWCNT-reinforced specimens decreased the most as a function of radiation time; the nanoclay-reinforced epoxy retained the most strength after 2 min of laser radiation. In addition, the threshold fluence for decomposition indicated that less energy was required to initiate decomposition in the MWCNT-reinforced epoxy than in the nanoclay-reinforced epoxy. This can be attributed to the high thermal conductivity of the carbon nanotubes. Measurement of surface damage in the material was observed via electron microscopy. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used to investigate changes to the molecular structure as a function of exposure time. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009
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