Boo, Woong Jae (2007-05). Structure-property relationship of nanoplatelet-reinforced polymer nanocomposites. Doctoral Dissertation.
As a part of a larger effort towards the fundamental understanding of structureproperty relationship in nanoplatelet-reinforced polymer nanocomposites, a set of model epoxy systems containing ?-Zirconium Phosphate (?-ZrP) have been prepared and studied in this dissertation. A new surface modification approach, i.e., the porous pathway approach, for improving intercalation efficiency and exfoliation of layered nanoplatelets has been proposed and the effectiveness has been demonstrated. In order to clearly understand the roles of nanofillers and the effects of their geometric factors on the physical and mechanical properties of nanocomposites, variables such as nanoplatelet loading level, degree of exfoliation, and aspect ratio have been carefully controlled in the epoxy matrices. Morphological information of the prepared nanocomposites was unambiguously confirmed by carrying out X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Tensile and thermo-mechanical properties of the model epoxy/?-ZrP nanocomposites have been investigated. Furthermore, fracture behavior of the model nanocomposites is examined in this study. This work has enhanced the understanding of the effects of nanoplatelet, i.e., loading level, degree of exfoliation, aspect ratio, and the type of surface modifiers, on the mechanical properties and fracture behavior of polymer nanocomposites.