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Polymers 2017, 9(10), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100530

Polyimide Aerogels Cross-Linked with Aminated Ag Nanowires: Mechanically Strong and Tough

1
School of Material Science & Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
2
School of Material Science & Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
3
Key Laboratory of Aerospace Materials and Performance, School of Material Science & Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Abstract

In this study, polyimide (PI)/Ag nanowire (AgNW) nanocomposite aerogels with extremely high mechanical performance have been fabricated utilizing amine-modified AgNWs as mechanical nanoreinforcement particulates and crosslinking agents. Initially, AgNWs were fabricated and surface modified by p-aminothiophenol (PATP), then the aminated AgNWs were dispersed into polyamide acid solution and aerogels were prepared by supercritical CO2 drying. Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectrometry were carried out on A-AgNWs (aminated Ag nanowires) to prove the successful modification. This functional nanoparticle greatly enhanced the strength and toughness of aerogels without evident increase in densities. Comparing to pure PI aerogels, samples with 2.0 wt % of A-AgNWs had a 148% increase in compression strength and 223% increase in Young’s modulus, which equates to 2.41 and 27.66 MPa, respectively. Simultaneously, the tensile test indicated that aerogels with 2.0 wt % of A-AgNWs had a breaking energy of 40.18 J/m3, which is 112% higher than pure PI aerogels. The results presented herein demonstrate that aminated AgNWs are an innovative cross-linker for PI aerogels and can improve their strength and toughness. These aerogels have excellent potential as high-duty, lightweight porous materials in many areas of application. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyimide aerogels; Ag nanowires; amino functionalization; nanoparticle cross-linker; mechanical properties polyimide aerogels; Ag nanowires; amino functionalization; nanoparticle cross-linker; mechanical properties
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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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Zhang, T.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, K. Polyimide Aerogels Cross-Linked with Aminated Ag Nanowires: Mechanically Strong and Tough. Polymers 2017, 9, 530.

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