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Materials 2013, 6(8), 3624-3640; doi:10.3390/ma6083624
Article

The Effect of a Rapid Heating Rate, Mechanical Vibration and Surfactant Chemistry on the Structure–Property Relationships of Epoxy/Clay Nanocomposites

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Received: 27 May 2013; in revised form: 6 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 August 2013 / Published: 20 August 2013
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Abstract: The role of processing conditions and intercalant chemistry in montmorillonite clays on the dispersion, morphology and mechanical properties of two epoxy/clay nanocomposite systems was investigated in this paper. This work highlights the importance of employing complementary techniques (X-ray diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering, optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) to correlate nanomorphology to macroscale properties. Materials were prepared using an out of autoclave manufacturing process equipped to generate rapid heating rates and mechanical vibration. The results suggested that the quaternary ammonium surfactant on C30B clay reacted with the epoxy during cure, while the primary ammonium surfactant (I.30E) catalysed the polymerisation reaction. These effects led to important differences in nanocomposite clay morphologies. The use of mechanical vibration at 4 Hz prior to matrix gelation was found to facilitate clay dispersion and to reduce the area fraction of I.30E clay agglomerates in addition to increasing flexural strength by over 40%.
Keywords: nano-structures; vibration; mechanical properties; rheological properties; X-ray diffraction; small angle X-ray scattering; electron microscopy nano-structures; vibration; mechanical properties; rheological properties; X-ray diffraction; small angle X-ray scattering; electron microscopy
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.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nuhiji, B.; Attard, D.; Thorogood, G.; Hanley, T.; Magniez, K.; Bungur, J.; Fox, B. The Effect of a Rapid Heating Rate, Mechanical Vibration and Surfactant Chemistry on the Structure–Property Relationships of Epoxy/Clay Nanocomposites. Materials 2013, 6, 3624-3640.

AMA Style

Nuhiji B, Attard D, Thorogood G, Hanley T, Magniez K, Bungur J, Fox B. The Effect of a Rapid Heating Rate, Mechanical Vibration and Surfactant Chemistry on the Structure–Property Relationships of Epoxy/Clay Nanocomposites. Materials. 2013; 6(8):3624-3640.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nuhiji, Betime; Attard, Darren; Thorogood, Gordon; Hanley, Tracey; Magniez, Kevin; Bungur, Jenny; Fox, Bronwyn. 2013. "The Effect of a Rapid Heating Rate, Mechanical Vibration and Surfactant Chemistry on the Structure–Property Relationships of Epoxy/Clay Nanocomposites." Materials 6, no. 8: 3624-3640.


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