Response surface study of vapor-grown carbon nanoflber/vinyl ester nanocomposites fabricated using high-shear mixing Conference Paper uri icon


  • Nanocomposites are being considered as promising candidates in different automotive structural parts because of their enhanced properties achieved at extremely low reinforcement weight fractions. However, the nano-scale size of these reinforcements poses a serious challenge to the formulation, processing, and fabrication of these nanocomposites. Therefore, a thorough study of the factors affecting the ultimate mechanical properties of these materials is of prime importance. Previously, the viscoelastic properties of a typical low-cost vapor-grown carbon nanofiber (VGCNF)/vinyl ester nanocomposite were studied utilizing a common dispersion technique, namely ultrasonication [1]. Though the ultrasonication method proves beneficial for the achievement of a certain degree of nanoreinforcement dispersion in the resin matrix, its utilization is limited to the production at the laboratory-scale. In this study, high-shear mixing has been used for the dispersion of VGCNF in vinyl ester resin. Three factors were selected for a general full factorial design of experiments approach as in our previous work [1]. The nanocomposite storage and loss moduli were used as the responses in this study and a response surface model was developed for each response. Using these models, the optimal conditions were determined. The high-shear mixing technique yields better enhancement of storage modulus compared to ultrasonication indicating greater nanodispersion was achieved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nouranian, S., Toghiani, H., Lacy, T. E., & Pittman, C. U.

publication date

  • December 2009