Tensile properties and electrical conductivity of epoxy composite thin films containing zinc oxide quantum dots and multi-walled carbon nanotubes
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd In situ surface-decoration of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles was used to disentangle multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in epoxy. Pristine MWCNTs (P-MWCNTs) and oxidized MWCNTs (O-MWCNTs) were incorporated, with and without ZnO-functionalization, into an aerospace-grade epoxy matrix at 1.7 wt% to investigate how ZnO functionalization influences their dispersion and effect on the properties of epoxy. It was observed that epoxy composites containing ZnO-decorated MWCNTs exhibited significant gains in Young's modulus (51%) and tensile strength (20%), without significantly compromising Tg (according to the 2nd heating cycle on differential scanning calorimetry) and electrical conductivity. The electrical conductivity of epoxy containing ZnO/P-MWCNTs was more than an order of magnitude higher than epoxy containing the same content of P-MWCNTs. The above composite system is attractive for applications where both tensile properties and electrical conductivity are of importance. The usefulness of these composite systems for multifunctional engineering applications and as thin films in vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding for carbon fiber reinforced composites is discussed.
author list (cited authors)
Hawkins, S. A., Yao, H., Wang, H., & Sue, H.