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Open AccessArticle

High-Performance Biobased Unsaturated Polyester Nanocomposites with Very Low Loadings of Graphene

1
Institute of Chemical Industry of Forest Products, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Key Lab of Biomass Energy and Material, Jiangsu Province, National Engineering Lab for Biomass Chemical Utilization, Key Lab on Forest Chemical Engineering, State Forestry Administration, Nanjing 210042, China
2
College of Science, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
3
Department of Corrosion Prevention and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Jiangsu University of Science and Technology, Zhenjiang 212003, China
4
Bio-Oils Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1815 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111288
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 17 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-Polymer Composites II)
Graphene-reinforced tung oil (TO)-based unsaturated polyester nanocomposites were prepared via in situ melt polycondensation intergrated with Diels–Alder addition. Functionalized graphene sheets derived from graphene oxide (GO) were then extracted from the obtained nanocomposites and carefully characterized. Furthermore, dispersion state of the graphene nanosheets in the cured polymer composites and ultimate properties of the resultant biobased nanocomposites were investigated. Mechanical and thermal properties of the TO-based unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) were greatly improved by the incorporation of GO. For example, at the optimal GO content (only 0.10 wt %), the obtained biobased nanocomposite showed tensile strength and modulus of 43.2 MPa and 2.62 GPa, and Tg of 105.2 °C, which were 159%, 191%, and 49.4% higher than those of the unreinforced UPR/TO resin, respectively. Compared to neat UPR, the biobased UPR nanocomposite with 0.1 wt % of GO even demonstrated superior comprehensive properties (comparable stiffness and Tg, while better toughness and thermal stability). Therefore, the developed biobased UPR nanocomposites are very promising to be applied in structural plastics. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene; unsaturated polyester resins; tung oil; biobased polymer nanocomposites; in situ melt polycondensation graphene; unsaturated polyester resins; tung oil; biobased polymer nanocomposites; in situ melt polycondensation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, C.; Wang, C.; Tang, J.; Zhang, J.; Shang, Q.; Hu, Y.; Wang, H.; Wu, Q.; Zhou, Y.; Lei, W.; Liu, Z. High-Performance Biobased Unsaturated Polyester Nanocomposites with Very Low Loadings of Graphene. Polymers 2018, 10, 1288.

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