B-staged interleaf-toughened epoxy/SWCNT nanocomposites for VARTM applications
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B-staged epoxy/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) nanocomposite thin films toughened by nylon particles have been prepared for improving mechanical performance and conductivity of laminated composites. The SWCNTs were functionalized by oxidation, followed by subsequent grafting with sulfanilamide. The epoxy nanocomposites containing well-dispersed SWCNTs and nylon particles were successfully cast into thin films by manipulating degree of cure and viscosity of epoxy. It is found that surface functionalization of SWCNT and introduction of preformed nylon particles can effectively improve the mechanical properties of the nanocomposites. The B-staged thin films can be seamlessly integrated into laminated composite systems upon heating, and can serve as interleaves for improving mechanical properties and conductivities of vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding composite systems.