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Polymers 2017, 9(9), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9090405

Wax Confinement with Carbon Nanotubes for Phase Changing Epoxy Blends

1
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, via Sommarive 9, 38123 Trento, Italy
2
National Interuniversity Consortium for Science and Technology of Materials (INSTM), Via G. Giusti 9, 50121 Firenze, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Abstract

A paraffin wax was shape stabilized with 10 wt % of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and dispersed in various concentrations in an epoxy resin to develop a novel blend with thermal energy storage capabilities. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that CNTs improve the thermal stability of paraffin, while differential scanning calorimetry showed that the paraffin kept its ability to melt and crystallize, with enthalpy values almost proportional to the paraffin fraction. In contrast, a noticeable loss of enthalpy was observed for epoxy/wax blends without CNTs, which was mainly attributed to the partial exudation of paraffin out of the epoxy matrix during the curing phase. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis contributed to elucidate the effects of the melting of the paraffin phase on the viscoelastic properties of the epoxy blends. Flexural elastic modulus and strength of the blends decreased with the wax/CNT content according to a rule of mixtures, while flexural strain at break values deviate positively from it. These results show the potentialities of the investigated epoxy blends for the development of multifunctional structural composites. View Full-Text
Keywords: multifunctional composites; carbon nanotubes; epoxy resin; thermal energy storage; phase change materials multifunctional composites; carbon nanotubes; epoxy resin; thermal energy storage; phase change materials
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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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Fredi, G.; Dorigato, A.; Fambri, L.; Pegoretti, A. Wax Confinement with Carbon Nanotubes for Phase Changing Epoxy Blends. Polymers 2017, 9, 405.

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