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Polymers 2011, 3(4), 2142-2155; doi:10.3390/polym3042142

Plasma Treated Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) for Epoxy Nanocomposites

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Missouri, Lafferre Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of North Texas, Discovery Park E159A, Denton, TX 76203, USA
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th street, Troy, NY 12180, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2011 / Revised: 8 December 2011 / Accepted: 16 December 2011 / Published: 19 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Inorganic Hybrids and Their Applications)
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Plasma nanocoating of allylamine were deposited on the surfaces of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to provide desirable functionalities and thus to tailor the surface characteristics of MWCNTs for improved dispersion and interfacial adhesion in epoxy matrices. Plasma nanocoated MWCNTs were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), surface contact angle, and pH change measurements. Mechanical testing results showed that epoxy reinforced with 1.0 wt % plasma coated MWCNTs increased the tensile strength by 54% as compared with the pure epoxy control, while epoxy reinforced with untreated MWCNTs have lower tensile strength than the pure epoxy control. Optical and electron microscopic images show enhanced dispersion of plasma coated MWCNTs in epoxy compared to untreated MWCNTs. Plasma nanocoatings from allylamine on MWCNTs could significantly enhance their dispersion and interfacial adhesion in epoxy matrices. Simulation results based on the shear-lag model derived from micromechanics also confirmed that plasma nanocoating on MWCNTs significantly improved the epoxy/fillers interface bonding and as a result the increased composite strength.
Keywords: polymers; nanocomposites; plasma treatment; dispersion; interfacial adhesion; multi-walled-carbon-nanotubes polymers; nanocomposites; plasma treatment; dispersion; interfacial adhesion; multi-walled-carbon-nanotubes

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ritts, A.C.; Yu, Q.; Li, H.; Lombardo, S.J.; Han, X.; Xia, Z.; Lian, J. Plasma Treated Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) for Epoxy Nanocomposites. Polymers 2011, 3, 2142-2155.

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