In the present investigation, we successfully fabricate a hybrid polymer nanocomposite containing epoxy/polyester blend resin and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) by a novel technique. A high intensity ultrasonicator is used to obtain a homogeneous mixture of epoxy/polyester resin and graphene nanoplatelets. This mixture is then mixed with a hardener using a high-speed mechanical stirrer. The trapped air and reaction volatiles are removed from the mixture using high vacuum. The hot press casting method is used to make the nanocomposite specimens. Tensile tests, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) are performed on neat, 0.2 wt %, 0.5 wt %, 1 wt %, 1.5 wt % and 2 wt % GNP-reinforced epoxy/polyester blend resin to investigate the reinforcement effect on the thermal and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites. The results of this research indicate that the tensile strength of the novel nanocomposite material increases to 86.8% with the addition of a ratio of graphene nanoplatelets as low as 0.2 wt %. DMA results indicate that the 1 wt % GNP-reinforced epoxy/polyester nanocomposite possesses the highest storage modulus and glass transition temperature (Tg), as compared to neat epoxy/polyester or the other nanocomposite specimens. In addition, TGA results verify thethermal stability of the experimental specimens, regardless of the weight percentage of GNPs.
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