Gam, Ki Tak (2003-12). Structure-property relationship in core-shell rubber toughened epoxy nanocomposites. Doctoral Dissertation.
The structure-property relationships of epoxy nanocomposites with inorganic layer-structure nanofillers have been studied to obtain the fundamental understanding of the role of nanofillers and the physics of polymer nanocomposites in this dissertation. Several polymer nanocomposite systems with modified montmorillonite (MMT) or ?-zirconium phosphate (ZrP) nanofillers were prepared with epoxy matrices of different ductility and properties. The successful nanofiller's exfoliations were confirmed with X-ray diffraction and transmision electronic microscopy (TEM). Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) on the prepared epoxy nanocomposites revealed the significant increase in rubbery plateau moduli of the epoxy nanocomposite systems above Tg, as high as 4.5 times, and tensile test results showed improved modulus by the nanofiller addition, while the fracture toughenss was not affected or slightly decreased by nanofillers. The brittle epoxy nanocomposite systems were toughened with core shell rubber (CSR) particles and showed remarkable increase in fracture toughness (KIC) value up to 270%. The CSR toughening is more effective at ductile matrices, and TEM observation indicates that major toughening mechanisms induced by the CSR addition involve a large scale CSR cavitation, followed by massive shear deformation of the matrix.