Effect of polyaniline surface modification of carbon nanofibers on cure kinetics of epoxy resin



Polyaniline (PANI) “nanograss” was grown on carbon nanofibers (CNFs). The cure behavior of an epoxy resin with and without unmodified CNFs or PANI modified CNFs was studied by means of non-isothermal and isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). CNFs accelerated the reaction of epoxy and diamine. PANI surface modification further increased the reaction rate and the extent of reaction. An autocatalytic cure kinetic model was used to fit the reaction curves. It was found that activation energies of the epoxy reaction decreased in the presence of CNFs and PANI modified CNFs. The observed catalytic effect of CNF and PANI surface coating can be very useful for low temperature cure of large epoxy composite products. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010