Comprehensive properties enhancement of graphene oxide reinforced polymer nanocomposites
The constant urge to boost the versatility of unsaturated polyester (UP) in the burgeoning area of automotive and aircraft industries has shifted the focus on developing high performance UP based nanocomposites with remarkable thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties. The current work traverses through the innovative method to contrive functionalized graphene oxide (f-GO)/UP nanocomposites. Similarly, Graphene oxide, synthesized from graphite using modified Hummers’ method, manifests into f-GO (GO-MAH, GO-NH2, POSS-GO) via surface chemical functionalization. Different loadings of f-GO were assimilated within UP matrix through in-situ polymerization. The comprehensive properties of the nanocomposites enhance, despite addition of f-GO as low as 0.04 wt.%, which itself gives a scrupulous vindication of proper dispersion of fillers and formation of exfoliated and intercalated nanostructures, with SEM images furnishing the inference of meticulous dispersion. The fabricated nanocomposites exhibit tensile strength augmentation by 75.2% for ultralow content of 0.08 wt.% f-GO. Furthermore, the 0.10 wt.% addition of f-GO within UP displays 53.8% increase in storage modulus and thermal decomposition temperature at 10% mass loss boosts by 70.3 °C, while the electrical conductivity surges by 109 S/m. The surface functionalized graphene oxide and their interaction with UP played a vital role in their property enhancement.