Processing and properties of syntactic foams reinforced with carbon nanotubes

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Issue Date
2011-10-26
Authors
Guzman, Mauricio E.
Rodriguez, Alejandro J.
Minaie, Bob
Violette, Melanie
Advisor
Citation

Guzman M.E., Rodriguez A.J., Minaie B., and Violette M. 2012. "Processing and properties of syntactic foams reinforced with carbon nanotubes". Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 124 (3): 2383-2394.

Abstract

This article presents synthesis and mechanical characterization of carbon nanotube (CNT)-reinforced syntactic foams. Following a dispersion approach (comprising ultrasonic, calendering, and vacuum centrifugal mixing), single- and multi-walled functionalized CNTs (FCNTs) were incorporated into two foam composites containing various commercially available microballoon grades (S38HS, S60HS, and H50 from 3M). The FCNT-reinforced composites were tested for compressive strength and apparent shear strength before and after hot/wet conditioning. The results showed that the FCNT-reinforced composites' mechanical properties depended on the vacuum pressure used during processing. Compared with pristine and commercially available syntactic foam (EC-3500 from 3M), the FCNT-reinforced composites processed at high vacuum (0.2 kPa) showed significant increase in compressive strength and apparent shear strength before and after hot/wet conditioning. Dynamic mechanical analysis showed an increase of about 22 degrees C in glass transition temperature for composites processed at high vacuum with 0.5 wt % FCNT and 45 wt % S38HS5 wt % S60HS microballoons. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated water absorption and lower decomposition temperature for the FCNT-reinforced composite mixed at atmospheric pressure, whereas no significant change was observed for the compound processed at high vacuum. Fracture analysis showed matrix failure for the composite processed at high vacuum and microballoon crushing for the composite mixed at atmospheric pressure. (C) 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012

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