Special Issue "Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanocomposite Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mauro Zarrelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council of Italy, 80055 Portici, Italy
Interests: advanced composites; mechanical and thermo-mechanical performance; nanocomposites; manufacturing processes; residual stresses; cure kinetics; thermal stability; impact; fracture tooughness
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Anna Borriello
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IPCB - Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, CNR –National Research Council of Italy - UOS Napoli/Portici-National Research Council, Portici, Italy
Interests: design, synthesis, study of proprieties, and engineering of polymeric systems. Current emphases include: Electrically conductive polymers; nanofillers in polymer composite polymer electrolyte membranes; bio-inspired materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last three decades, the availability of a different typology of nanoparticles has increased enormously, giving a concrete chance to develop tunable materials for specific structural and functional applications.

Adding nanoparticles to a polymer matrix can enhance its performance, at the same time tailoring specific properties. This approach is particularly effective in applications for which specific functionalities are needed, such as conductive polymer, enhanced thermal conductive matrix, high performance composites, functional coating, nanocomposite foams or “smart” materials for sensing.

This Special Issue, titled: Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites”, within the Nanomaterials Journal of MDPI, aims to publish original research, which will add knowledge to the current understanding on polymer nanocomposites, including fundamental structure/property relationships, property characterization, and numerical modeling and manufacturing techniques. At the same, review work reporting the current state of the art for a specific feature of polymer nanocomposites with main interests for aeronautical and space applications is welcome.

Dr. Mauro Zarrelli
Dr. Anna Borriello
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Polymer nanocomposites
  • Hierarchical composites
  • Nanofillers
  • Processing nanocomposites
  • Sensing nanocomposite
  • Smart nanocomposites
  • Synthesis of nanofiller
  • Multifunctional of nanocomposites
  • Structural property
  • Simulation and modeling

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Carrier Fibers for the Safe Dosage of Nanoparticles in Nanocomposites: Nanomechanical and Thermomechanical Study on Polycarbonate/Boehmite Electrospun Fibers Embedded in Epoxy Resin
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061591 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 180
Abstract
The reinforcing effect of boehmite nanoparticles (BNP) in epoxy resins for fiber composite lightweight construction is related to the formation of a soft but bound interphase between filler and polymer. The interphase is able to dissipate crack propagation energy and consequently increases the [...] Read more.
The reinforcing effect of boehmite nanoparticles (BNP) in epoxy resins for fiber composite lightweight construction is related to the formation of a soft but bound interphase between filler and polymer. The interphase is able to dissipate crack propagation energy and consequently increases the fracture toughness of the epoxy resin. Usually, the nanoparticles are dispersed in the resin and then mixed with the hardener to form an applicable mixture to impregnate the fibers. If one wishes to locally increase the fracture toughness at particularly stressed positions of the fiber-reinforced polymer composites (FRPC), this could be done by spraying nanoparticles from a suspension. However, this would entail high costs for removing the nanoparticles from the ambient air. We propose that a fiber fleece containing bound nanoparticles be inserted at exposed locations. For the present proof-of-concept study, an electrospun polycarbonate nonwoven and taurine modified BNP are proposed. After fabrication of suitable PC/EP/BNP composites, the thermomechanical properties were tested by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Comparatively, the local nanomechanical properties such as stiffness and elastic modulus were determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM). An additional investigation of the distribution of the nanoparticles in the epoxy matrix, which is a prerequisite for an effective nanocomposite, is carried out by scanning electron microscopy in transmission mode (TSEM). From the results it can be concluded that the concept of carrier fibers for nanoparticles is viable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
Atomic Oxygen-Resistant Polyimide Composite Films Containing Nanocaged Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane Components in Matrix and Fillers
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010141 - 08 Jan 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
For the development of spacecraft with long-servicing life in low earth orbit (LEO), high-temperature resistant polymer films with long-term atomic oxygen (AO) resistant features are highly desired. The relatively poor AO resistance of standard polyimide (PI) films greatly limited their applications in LEO [...] Read more.
For the development of spacecraft with long-servicing life in low earth orbit (LEO), high-temperature resistant polymer films with long-term atomic oxygen (AO) resistant features are highly desired. The relatively poor AO resistance of standard polyimide (PI) films greatly limited their applications in LEO spacecraft. In this work, we successfully prepared a series of novel AO resistant PI composite films containing nanocaged polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) components in both the PI matrix and the fillers. The POSS-containing PI matrix film was prepared from a POSS-substituted aromatic diamine, N-[(heptaisobutyl-POSS)propyl]-3,5-diaminobenzamide (DABA-POSS) and a common aromatic diamine, 4,4′-oxydianline (ODA) and the aromatic dianhydride, pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA) by a two-step thermal imidization procedure. The POSS-containing filler, trisilanolphenyl POSS (TSP-POSS) was added with the fixed proportion of 20 wt% in the final films. Incorporation of TSP-POSS additive apparently improved the thermal stability, but decreased the high-temperature dimensional stable nature of the PI composite films. The 5% weight loss temperature (T5%) of POSS-PI-20 with 20 wt% of DABA-POSS is 564 °C, and its coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CTE) is 81.0 × 10−6/K. The former is 16 °C lower and the latter was 20.0 × 10−6/K higher than those of the POSS-PI-10 film (T5% = 580 °C, CTE = 61.0 × 10−6/K), respectively. POSS components endowed the PI composite films excellent AO resistance and self-healing characteristics in AO environments. POSS-PI-30 exhibits the lowest AO erosion yield (Es) of 1.64 × 10−26 cm3/atom under AO exposure with a flux of 2.51 × 1021 atoms/cm2, which is more than two orders of magnitude lower than the referenced PI (PMDA-ODA) film. Inert silica or silicate passivation layers were detected on the surface of the PI composite films exposed to AO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
Thermal and Mechanical Characterization of an Aeronautical Graded Epoxy Resin Loaded with Hybrid Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1388; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071388 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 756
Abstract
Synthesized silica nanoparticles (SiO2) were coated with a thin polydopamine (PDA) shell by a modified one-step procedure leading to PDA coated silica nanoparticles (SiO2@PDA). Core-shell (CSNPs) characterization revealed 15 nm thickness of PDA shell surrounding the SiO2 core [...] Read more.
Synthesized silica nanoparticles (SiO2) were coated with a thin polydopamine (PDA) shell by a modified one-step procedure leading to PDA coated silica nanoparticles (SiO2@PDA). Core-shell (CSNPs) characterization revealed 15 nm thickness of PDA shell surrounding the SiO2 core (~270 nm in diameter). Different weight percentages of CSNPs were employed as filler to enhance the final properties of an aeronautical epoxy resin (RTM6) commonly used as matrix to manufacture structural composites. RTM6/SiO2@PDA nanocomposites were experimentally characterized in terms of thermal stability and mechanical performances to assess the induced effects by the synthesized CSNPs on pristine matrix. Thermal stability was investigated by thermogravimetry and data were modelled by the Doyle model and Kissinger methods. An overall enhancement in thermal stability was achieved and clearly highlighted by modelling results. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis has revealed an improvement in the nanocomposite performances compared to the neat matrix, with an increase in the glassy (+9.5%) and rubbery moduli (+32%) as well as glass transition temperature (+10 °C). Fracture Toughness tests confirmed the positive effect in damage resistance compared to unloaded resin with an impressive variation in critical stress intensity factor (KIC) and critical strain energy (GIC) of about 60% and 138%, respectively, with the highest SiO2@PDA content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
Aromatic Hyperbranched Polyester/RTM6 Epoxy Resin for EXTREME Dynamic Loading Aeronautical Applications
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10020188 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 897
Abstract
The effects of the addition of an aromatic hyperbranched polyester (AHBP) on thermal, mechanical, and fracture toughness properties of a thermosetting resin system were investigated. AHBP filler, synthesized by using a bulk poly-condensation reaction, reveals a glassy state at room temperature. Indeed, according [...] Read more.
The effects of the addition of an aromatic hyperbranched polyester (AHBP) on thermal, mechanical, and fracture toughness properties of a thermosetting resin system were investigated. AHBP filler, synthesized by using a bulk poly-condensation reaction, reveals a glassy state at room temperature. Indeed, according to differential scanning calorimetry measurements, the glass transition temperature (Tg) of AHBP is 95 °C. Three different adduct weight percentages were employed to manufacture the AHBP/epoxy samples, respectively, 0.1, 1, and 5 wt%. Dynamical Mechanical Analysis tests revealed that the addition of AHBP induces a negligible variation in terms of conservative modulus, whereas a slight Tg reduction of about 4 °C was observed at 5 wt% of filler content. Fracture toughness results showed an improvement of both critical stress intensity factor (+18%) and critical strain energy release rate (+83%) by adding 5 wt% of AHBP compared to the neat epoxy matrix. Static and dynamic compression tests covering strain rates ranging from 0.0008 to 1000 s−1 revealed a pronounced strain rate sensitivity for all AHBP/epoxy systems. The AHBP composites all showed an increase of the true peak yield compressive strength with the best improvement associated with the sample with 0.1 wt% of AHBP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
The Effect of Hybridized Carbon Nanotubes, Silica Nanoparticles, and Core-Shell Rubber on Tensile, Fracture Mechanics and Electrical Properties of Epoxy Nanocomposites
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071057 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1617
Abstract
The paper investigates the effect of adding a combination of rigid nanoparticles and core-shell rubber nanoparticles on the tensile, fracture mechanics, electrical and thermo-mechanical properties of epoxy resins. SiO2 nanoparticles, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT’s), as rigid nanofillers, and core-shell rubber (CSR) nanoparticles, [...] Read more.
The paper investigates the effect of adding a combination of rigid nanoparticles and core-shell rubber nanoparticles on the tensile, fracture mechanics, electrical and thermo-mechanical properties of epoxy resins. SiO2 nanoparticles, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT’s), as rigid nanofillers, and core-shell rubber (CSR) nanoparticles, as soft nanofillers were used with bisphenol-A-based epoxy resin. Further, the rigid fillers were added systematically with core-shell rubber nanoparticles to investigate the commingled effect of rigid nanofillers and soft CSR nanoparticles. The resulting matrix will be broadly evaluated by standard methods to quantify tensile, fracture mechanics, electrical, and thermal properties. The results show that the electrical conductivity threshold is obtained at 0.075 wt. % for MWCNT-modified systems. For hybrid systems, the maximum increase of fracture toughness (218%) and fracture energy (900%) was obtained for a system containing 5 wt. % of CSR and 10 wt. % of SiO2. The analysis of the fracture surfaces revealed the information about existing toughening micro-mechanisms in the nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
Electrically Conductive CNT Composites at Loadings below Theoretical Percolation Values
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040491 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
It is well established that dramatic increases in conductivity occur upon the addition of conductive filler materials to highly resistive polymeric matrices in experimental settings. However, the mechanisms responsible for the observed behavior at low filler loadings, below theoretical percolation limits, of even [...] Read more.
It is well established that dramatic increases in conductivity occur upon the addition of conductive filler materials to highly resistive polymeric matrices in experimental settings. However, the mechanisms responsible for the observed behavior at low filler loadings, below theoretical percolation limits, of even high aspect ratio fillers such as carbon nanotubes (CNT) are not completely understood. In this study, conductive composites were fabricated using CNT bundles dispersed in epoxy resins at diverse loadings, using different dispersion and curing protocols. Based on electron microscopy observation of the CNTs strands distribution in the polymeric matrices and the corresponding electrical conductivities of those specimens, we concluded that no single electron transfer model can accurately explain the conductive behavior for all the loading values. We propose the existence of two different conductive mechanisms; one that exists close to the percolation limit, from ‘low loadings’ to higher CNT contents (CNT % wt > 0.1) and a second for ‘extremely low loadings’, near the percolation threshold (CNT % wt < 0.1). The high conductivity observed for composites at low CNT loading values can be explained by the existence of a percolative CNT network that coexists with micron size regions of non-conductive material. In contrast, samples with extremely low CNT loading values, which present no connectivity or close proximity between CNT bundles, show an electrical conductivity characterized by a current/voltage dependence. Data suggests that at these loadings, conduction may occur via a material breakdown mechanism, similar to dielectric breakdown in a capacitor. The lessons learned from the data gathered in here could guide future experimental research aimed to control the conductivity of CNT composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aerospace: Polymer Nanocomposites)
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