Epoxy formulations containing 1%, 3%, and 5% SiO2
nanoparticles (SNPs) were produced and applied to mild steel substrates in order to improve their thermal, nanomechanical, and abrasion resistance. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) was used to analyze the dispersion of nanoparticles in the final coating samples, and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) was used to confirm the presence of nanoparticles. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was employed to measure the thermal resistance of the prepared coatings. Conventional techniques were used to measure the impact and scratch resistance. For nanomechanical testing, nanoindentation was performed using a Berkovich-type indenter. Using a taber abraser, the abrasion properties of the coatings were measured. The FE-SEM images indicated good dispersion of the nanoparticles at all three different loading levels. The scratch, impact, and hardness of coatings improved with the addition of the SNPs. Nanomechanical properties, such as hardness and elastic modulus, improved when compared to the unmodified coatings. The thermal and abrasion resistances of the coatings improved with the increase in the SNPs content of the coatings. The highest mechanical, thermal, and abrasion properties were obtained for the coatings with 5% SNP content.
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