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Materials 2017, 10(7), 776; doi:10.3390/ma10070776

Fracture Toughness and Elastic Modulus of Epoxy-Based Nanocomposites with Dopamine-Modified Nano-Fillers

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
2
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, 73 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 638075, Singapore
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 10 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
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Abstract

This paper examines the effect of surface treatment and filler shape factor on the fracture toughness and elastic modulus of epoxy-based nanocomposite. Two forms of nanofillers, polydopamine-coated montmorillonite clay (D-clay) and polydopamine-coated carbon nanofibres (D-CNF) were investigated. It was found that Young’s modulus increases with increasing D-clay and D-CNF loading. However, the fracture toughness decreases with increased D-clay loading but increases with increased D-CNF loading. Explanations have been provided with the aid of fractographic analysis using electron microscope observations of the crack-filler interactions. Fractographic analysis suggests that although polydopamine provides a strong adhesion between the fillers and the matrix, leading to enhanced elastic stiffness, the enhancement prohibits energy release via secondary cracking, resulting in a decrease in fracture toughness. In contrast, 1D fibre is effective in increasing the energy dissipation during fracture through crack deflection, fibre debonding, fibre break, and pull-out. View Full-Text
Keywords: polydopamine; montmorillonite clay; carbon nanofibre; fracture toughness; elastic modulus polydopamine; montmorillonite clay; carbon nanofibre; fracture toughness; elastic modulus
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Koh, K.L.; Ji, X.; Dasari, A.; Lu, X.; Lau, S.K.; Chen, Z. Fracture Toughness and Elastic Modulus of Epoxy-Based Nanocomposites with Dopamine-Modified Nano-Fillers. Materials 2017, 10, 776.

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