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Nanomaterials 2013, 3(3), 550-563; doi:10.3390/nano3030550

Influence of Nanoclay Dispersion Methods on the Mechanical Behavior of E-Glass/Epoxy Nanocomposites

1,* , 2
1 Materials Research and Education Center, Auburn University, 275 Wilmore Laboratories, Auburn, AL 36849, USA 2 Center for Advanced Materials, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2013 / Revised: 19 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 August 2013 / Published: 28 August 2013
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Common dispersion methods such as ultrasonic sonication, planetary centrifugal mixing and magnetic dispersion have been used extensively to achieve moderate exfoliation of nanoparticles in polymer matrix. In this study, the effect of adding three roll milling to these three dispersion methods for nanoclay dispersion into epoxy matrix was investigated. A combination of each of these mixing methods with three roll milling showed varying results relative to the unmodified polymer laminate. A significant exfoliation of the nanoparticles in the polymer structure was obtained by dispersing the nanoclay combining three roll milling to magnetic and planetary centrifugal mixing methods. This exfoliation promoted a stronger interfacial bond between the matrix and the fiber, which increased the final properties of the E-glass/epoxy nanocomposite. However, a combination of ultrasound sonication and three roll milling on the other hand, resulted in poor clay exfoliation; the sonication process degraded the polymer network, which adversely affected the nanocomposite final properties relative to the unmodified E-glass/epoxy polymer.
Keywords: nanoclays; nanocomposites; mechanical properties; dispersion methods nanoclays; nanocomposites; mechanical properties; dispersion methods
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Agubra, V.A.; Owuor, P.S.; Hosur, M.V. Influence of Nanoclay Dispersion Methods on the Mechanical Behavior of E-Glass/Epoxy Nanocomposites. Nanomaterials 2013, 3, 550-563.

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