Journal of Polymer Science & Applications

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Processing of Epoxy/Graphene Nanocomposites: Effects of Surfactants

The use of graphene has attracted lots of attention in recent years because of its excellent performance in mechanical, electrical and thermal applications. Graphene can significantly improve the properties of epoxy at extremely low loadings. Herein, epoxy/grapheme nanocomposites have been prepared to explore the properties enhancement of graphene in epoxy matrix. However, due to the strong van der Waals force on separately dispersed graphene surface, graphene tends to re-aggregate in epoxy matrix. In this work,Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS) and Gum Arabic (GA)have been selected to disperse graphene.Tensile properties, flexural properties and hardness, etc have been tested to evaluate the effectiveness. After introduced SDS, the tensile strength of nanocomposites increased to 70.4 MPa, the glass transition temperature increased to 76.96°C, compare to that of 64.46 MPa and 69.28°C for 0.3 wt% epoxy/graphene samples and 57.23 MPa and 66.08°C for neat epoxy samples. Nanocomposites prepared with GA also showed moderate increment. The results show that with the incorporation of graphene, the properties of epoxy improved significantly.Moreover, SDS and GA further increased the properties of nanocomposites. SDS shows better dispersion effect than GA.

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