Mechanical behavior of carbon nanofibre-reinforced epoxy composites



Epoxy resins are widely used in a variety of applications because of their high chemical and corrosion resistance and good mechanical properties. But few types of epoxy resins are brittle and possess low toughness which makes them unsuitable for several structural applications. In this work, carbon nanofibres have been dispersed uniformly into the epoxy resin at a very low concentration (0.07 vol. %). Improvement of 98% in Young modulus, 24% in breaking stress and 144% in work of rupture was achieved in the best sample. The emphasis is on achieving uniform dispersion of carbon nanofibers into epoxy resin using a combination of techniques such as ultrasonication, use of solvent and surfactants. The fracture surfaces of the specimens were studied under scanning electron microscope to see the fracture mechanism of nanocomposites under tensile load and correlate it to the enhancement in their properties. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010