This study investigated the effect of silane and surfactant treatments of graphene nanoplatelets (GnPs) on the mechanical and thermal properties of silicone rubber (SR) composites. GnPs were modified with aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES), vinyltrimethoxysilane (VTMS), and Triton X-100, and then the pristine GnPs and functionalized GnPs were individually incorporated into the SR. Compared with the pristine GnP/SR composite, the composites reinforced with modified GnP showed better tensile strength, elongation at break, and thermal conductivity properties due to better dispersion of modified GnPs and stronger interfacial interactions between the modified GnPs and matrix. The mechanical properties and thermal conductivity of the VTMS-GnP/SR composite were comparable to the properties of the Triton-GnP counterpart, but better than that of the APTES-GnP/SR composite. In addition, the VTMS-GnP/SR composite demonstrated the highest thermal stability and crystallization temperature among the four types of composites. The remarkable improvement of mechanical and thermal properties of the VTMS-GnP/SR composite was mainly due to the covalent linkage of VTMS-GnP with SR. The VTMS treatment was a more appropriate modification of GnP particles to improve the multifunctional properties of SR.
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