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Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101103

Remarkable Improvement in the Mechanical Properties of Epoxy Composites Achieved by a Small Amount of Modified Helical Carbon Nanotubes

1
Key Laboratory of Advanced Technologies of Materials (Ministry of Education), School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
2
Technical College-Baghdad, Middle Technical University, Baghdad 10074, Iraq
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 30 September 2018 / Accepted: 1 October 2018 / Published: 5 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-CNT Nanocomposites)
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Abstract

Helical carbon nanotubes (HCNTs) were functionalized to fabricate HCNT/epoxy composites. Acid oxidation and a silane coupling agent, glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (KH560), were used to modify the HCNTs. Remarkably, the flexural strength and the flexural strain were enhanced by 72.0% and 325.0%, respectively, compared to pure epoxy after adding a small amount of the KH560 modified HCNTs (K-HCNTs). Simultaneously, the tensile strength and Young’s modulus of K-HCNTs/epoxy composites were 51.3% and 270.9% higher than those of pure epoxy. It is found that the presence of silane molecules improved the dispersion of HCNTs in epoxy and the interfacial interaction. Moreover, it has been found that the mechanically interlocking effect from the helical shape of HCNTs also contributes to the improved mechanical properties of epoxy composites, compared to their straight multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) counterparts. This work provides a low-cost and efficient approach to strengthen and toughen epoxy composites. View Full-Text
Keywords: helical carbon nanotubes; epoxy composites; mechanical properties; surface treatment helical carbon nanotubes; epoxy composites; mechanical properties; surface treatment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kadhim, N.; Mei, Y.; Wang, Y.; Li, Y.; Meng, F.; Jiang, M.; Zhou, Z. Remarkable Improvement in the Mechanical Properties of Epoxy Composites Achieved by a Small Amount of Modified Helical Carbon Nanotubes. Polymers 2018, 10, 1103.

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