An experimental study on tensile properties of cellulose nanocrystal reinforced epoxy nanocomposite material Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0r967679w

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  • Epoxy resin is a thermosetting resin that is commonly used as composite matrix. Epoxy composite materials are well utilized in industries, such as aerospace, due to their good mechanical properties. Nano-scale filler reinforced polymer composite materials have been intensively researched in recent decades. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNXLs) are a type of natural material which are proven to have great reinforcing abilities. Their abundance and environmental friendliness encourages more researchers to devote their investigations in this field. However, the dispersion of nanofillers is an issue during composite processing due to their large surface area (2-4 orders of magnitude larger than conventional fillers) and their proneness to agglomeration. No exception are the CNXLs prepared and being studied in this study. In this study, tensile tests were performed on samples prepared with different dispersion methods. Using organic solvent substituting water as medium to disperse nanofibers in polymer matrix was shown unsuitable for CNXLs/epoxy system. Freeze dried CNXL powders and supercritical dried CNXL aerogels were investigated to avoid solvent medium effects. Freeze drying of CNXL showed improvement over organic solvent process but did help dispersion of CNXL into epoxy matrix. Samples made with supercritical dried CNXLs showed slightly superior tensile properties but improvement varied and depended highly on the handling of process.
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