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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030418

Thermal Properties and Fracture Toughness of Epoxy Nanocomposites Loaded with Hyperbranched-Polymers-Based Core/Shell Nanoparticles

Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council of Italy, 80055 Portici, Naples, Italy
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Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract

Synthesized silicon oxide (silica) nanoparticles were functionalized with a hyperbranched polymer (HBP) achieving a core/shell nanoparticles (CSNPs) morphology. CSNPs were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). A core diameter of about 250 nm with a 15 nm thick shell was revealed using TEM images. An aeronautical epoxy resin was loaded with the synthesized CSNPs at different percentages and thermal properties, such as thermal stability and dynamic mechanical properties, were investigated with the use of different techniques. Although the incorporation of 2.5 wt% of CSNPs induces a ~4 °C reduction of the hosting matrix glass transition temperature, a slight increase of the storage modulus of about ~10% was also measured. The Kissinger Method was employed in order to study the thermal stability of the nanocomposites; the degradation activation energies that resulted were higher for the sample loaded with low filler content with a maximum increase of both degradation step energies of about ~77% and ~20%, respectively. Finally, fracture toughness analysis revealed that both the critical stress intensity factor (KIC) and critical strain energy release rate (GIC) increased with the CSNPs content, reporting an increase of about 32% and 74%, respectively, for the higher filler loading. View Full-Text
Keywords: epoxy resin; core/shell nanoparticles (CSNPs); polymer-matrix composites (PMCs); thermal stability; fracture toughness epoxy resin; core/shell nanoparticles (CSNPs); polymer-matrix composites (PMCs); thermal stability; fracture toughness
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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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Zotti, A.; Zuppolini, S.; Borriello, A.; Zarrelli, M. Thermal Properties and Fracture Toughness of Epoxy Nanocomposites Loaded with Hyperbranched-Polymers-Based Core/Shell Nanoparticles. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 418.

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