The thermal properties of a carbon nanotube-enriched epoxy: Thermal conductivity, curing, and degradation kinetics

Authors

  • Isaac Aguilar Ventura,

    1. COHMAS Laboratory, Physical Science and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
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  • Ariful Rahaman,

    1. COHMAS Laboratory, Physical Science and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
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  • Gilles Lubineau

    Corresponding author
    • COHMAS Laboratory, Physical Science and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
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Correspondence to: Gilles Lubineau (E-mail: gilles.lubineau@kaust.edu.sa)

ABSTRACT

Multiwalled carbon nanotube-enriched epoxy polymers were prepared by solvent evaporation based on a commercially available epoxy system and functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (COOH–MWCNTs). Three weight ratio configurations (0.05, 0.5, and 1.0 wt %) of COOH–MWCNTs were considered and compared with neat epoxy and ethanol-treated epoxy to investigate the effects of nano enrichment and processing. Here, the thermal properties of the epoxy polymers, including curing kinetics, thermal conductivity, and degradation kinetics were studied. Introducing the MWCNTs increased the curing activation energy as revealed by differential scanning calorimetry. The final thermal conductivity of the 0.5 and 1.0 wt % MWCNT-enriched epoxy samples measured by laser flash technique increased by up to 15% compared with the neat material. The activation energy of the degradation process, investigated by thermogravimetric analysis, was found to increase with increasing CNT content, suggesting that the addition of MWCNTs improved the thermal stability of the epoxy polymers. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 2722–2733, 2013

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