Facile covalent surface functionalization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes with poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) and interface related studies when incorporated into epoxy composites

Authors

  • Greg Curtzwiler,

    1. School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406
    2. V Laboratories and Echo-Pac, California Polytechnic Technology Park, Building 83, San Luis Obispo, California 93407
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  • Andreas Plagge,

    1. School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406
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  • Keith Vorst,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Industrial Technology, California Polytechnic State University, Plastics and Packaging, San Luis Obispo, California 93407
    2. V Laboratories and Echo-Pac, California Polytechnic Technology Park, Building 83, San Luis Obispo, California 93407
    • Department of Industrial Technology, California Polytechnic State University, Plastics and Packaging, San Luis Obispo, California 93407
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  • John Story

    1. V Laboratories and Echo-Pac, California Polytechnic Technology Park, Building 83, San Luis Obispo, California 93407
    2. University of St. Thomas, Cameron School of Business, 3800 Montrose, Houston, Texas 77006
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Abstract

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have seen increased interest from manufacturers as a nanofiber filler for the enhancement of various physical and mechanical properties. A major drawback for widespread commercial use has been the cost associated with growing, functionalizing, and incorporating CNTs into commercially available polymeric matrices. Accordingly, the main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of adding commercially viable functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) to a commercially available epoxy matrix. The mechanical behavior of the nanocomposites was investigated by mechanical testing in tensile mode and fractures were examined by scanning electron microscopy. The thermal behavior was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis. Molecular composition was analyzed by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Mechanical testing of the epoxy/functionalized-MWCNT indicated that the 0.15 wt % functionalized MWCNT composite possessed the highest engineering stress and toughness out of the systems evaluated without affecting the Young's modulus of the material. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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