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Curing of epoxy/carbon nanotubes physical networks

Authors

  • Maialen Chapartegui,

    Corresponding author
    1. Tecnalia, Department of Manufacturing Processes of Plastics and Composites, Paseo Mikeletegi 2, E-20009 San Sebastian, Spain
    • Tecnalia, Department of Manufacturing Processes of Plastics and Composites, Paseo Mikeletegi 2, E-20009 San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Nerea Markaide,

    1. Tecnalia, Department of Manufacturing Processes of Plastics and Composites, Paseo Mikeletegi 2, E-20009 San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Sonia Florez,

    1. Tecnalia, Department of Manufacturing Processes of Plastics and Composites, Paseo Mikeletegi 2, E-20009 San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Cristina Elizetxea,

    1. Tecnalia, Department of Manufacturing Processes of Plastics and Composites, Paseo Mikeletegi 2, E-20009 San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Mercedes Fernandez,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Technology and Polymat Institute, Faculty of Chemistry, University of the Basque Country, E-20080 San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Anton Santamaria

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Technology and Polymat Institute, Faculty of Chemistry, University of the Basque Country, E-20080 San Sebastian, Spain
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Abstract

A melt-mixing procedure has been used to disperse multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) in an epoxy matrix. According to dynamic viscoelastic results, a physical network is formed for carbon nanotube concentrations of 0.3 weight per cent (wt%) and above. The temperature activated curing process is followed analyzing the evolution of the dynamic viscoelastic functions and the dielectric loss with time. Curing process from a physical to a chemical network is monitored. The presence of MWCNT accelerates curing, even when the rheological percolation is not reached (absence of physical network). Several hypotheses are considered to explain this result. Electrical conductivity decreases during cure, so lower electrical conductivities are found for cured MWCNT/epoxy samples than for dispersions: this is explained by a distortion of nanotubes physical network and a reduction of the ionic conductivity contribution of the liquid phase. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2012. © 2011 Society of Plastics Engineers

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