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Effect of Nanoclay Content on Mechanical Behaviour of TGDDM Epoxy Nanocomposites

N.T.P. Huong, A. Crosky, B. Qi, D. Kelly and D.C. Li
The University of New South Wales, AU

nanocomposites, nanoclay, epoxy resin, compressive modulus, exfoliation

Exfoliated nanocomposites based on tetraglycidyldiamino diphenylmethane (TGDDM) cured by diethyltoluene diamine (DETDA) reinforced with 1-20 phr of a commercial nanoclay (I30E) were prepared. The effect of the nanoclay content on the compressive modulus of the nanocomposites was investigated. The morphology of the cured nanocomposites was obtained by small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to evaluate the effect the nanoparticles on the cure of the epoxy resin and the Tg of the nanocomposites. The Tg decrease with increased nanoclay loading is considered to result from the chain flexibility of the surfactant and the density of internal cross-links between the layers of the nanoclay. The clay was found to be fully exfoliated with the d-spacing being 125 Å at a loading of 2.5 phr of I30E, then reduced progressively as the clay loading was increased. The compressive modulus of the nanocomposites increased linearly with increasing clay loading with the 20 phr nanocomposite showing an almost 50% increase in modulus compared with the pure resin. The improved modulus is consistent with the nanoscale separation of the clay layers observed by SAXS and TEM.

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