A study on graphene based nanocomposite coatings subjected to UV degradation
The loss of properties due to the ultra violet (UV) light exposure has been a long standing problem in composite materials. To overcome this issue, the composite materials are often coated with a polymeric material. Even though the polymers offer improved resistance against UV degradation, they are not a comprehensive solution to overcome the problem, because over a prolonged period of time, the coatings themselves are susceptible to UV degradation. This research was aimed to improve the resistance of the coatings against the UV degradation. In order to achieve that, nanoscale additive, namely graphene, was uniformly dispersed into the coatings, and then applied onto the surface of the glass fiber reinforced composite materials. It was hypothesized that graphene, being a very good nano reinforcement material, would act as a strong binding agent and increase the resistance of the coating against the UV degradation. The effects of the addition of the nano-additives were tested by performing atomic force microscopy, water contact angle measurement, coating thickness measurement and the FTIR studies. The experimental results confirmed that addition of nano-additives does in fact improve the resistance of the coatings against UV degradation. As a result, this study will prove a number of advantages for different industrial applications.
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.