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Materials 2016, 9(7), 507;

The Effect of High Concentration and Small Size of Nanodiamonds on the Strength of Interface and Fracture Properties in Epoxy Nanocomposite

National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230029, Anhui, China
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230029, Anhui, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mady Elbahri
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 23 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Properties and Applications of Nanodiamonds)
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The concentration and small size of nanodiamonds (NDs) plays a crucial role in the mechanical performance of epoxy-based nanocomposites by modifying the interface strength. Herein, we systemically analyzed the relation between the high concentration and small size of ND and the fracture properties of its epoxy-based nanocomposites. It was observed that there is a two-fold increase in fracture toughness and a three-fold increase in fracture energy. Rationally, functionalized-NDs (F-NDs) showed a much better performance for the nanocomposite than pristine NDs (P-NDs) because of additional functional groups on its surface. The F-ND/epoxy nanocomposites exhibited rougher surface in contrast with the P-ND/epoxy, indicating the presence of a strong interface. We found that the interfaces in F-ND/epoxy nanocomposites at high concentrations of NDs overlap by making a web, which can efficiently hinder further crack propagation. In addition, the de-bonding in P-ND/epoxy nanocomposites occurred at the interface with the appearance of plastic voids or semi-naked particles, whereas the de-bonding for F-ND/epoxy nanocomposites happened within the epoxy molecular network instead of the interface. Because of the strong interface in F-ND/epoxy nanocomposites, at high concentrations the de-bonding within the epoxy molecular network may lead to subsequent cracks, parallel to the parent crack, via crack splitting which results in a fiber-like structure on the fracture surface. The plastic void growth, crack deflection and subsequent crack growth were correlated to higher values of fracture toughness and fracture energy in F-ND/epoxy nanocomposites. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanodiamond; epoxy; nanocomposites; interface; fracture properties nanodiamond; epoxy; nanocomposites; interface; fracture properties

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Haleem, Y.A.; Song, P.; Liu, D.; Wang, C.; Gan, W.; Saleem, M.F.; Song, L. The Effect of High Concentration and Small Size of Nanodiamonds on the Strength of Interface and Fracture Properties in Epoxy Nanocomposite. Materials 2016, 9, 507.

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