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Polish Journal of Chemical Technology

The Journal of West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin

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The effect of the surface modification of carbon nanotubes on their dispersion in the epoxy matrix

Maria Wladyka-Przybylak1 / Dorota Wesolek1 / Weronika Gieparda1 / Anna Boczkowska1 / Ewelina Ciecierska1

Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Poznań, Poland1

Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland2

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Polish Journal of Chemical Technology. Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 62–69, ISSN (Online) 1899-4741, ISSN (Print) 1509-8117, DOI: 10.2478/v10026-011-0026-5, June 2011

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The effect of the surface modification of carbon nanotubes on their dispersion in the epoxy matrix

Functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has an effect on the dispersion of MWCNT in the epoxy matrix. Samples based on two kinds of epoxy resin and different weight percentage of MWCNTs (functionalized and non-functionalized) were prepared. Epoxy/carbon nanotubes composites were prepared by different mixing methods (ultrasounds and a combination of ultrasounds and mechanical mixing). CNTs modified with different functional groups were investigated. Surfactants were used to lower the surface tension of the liquid, which enabled easier spreading and reducing the interfacial tension. Solvents were also used to reduce the liquid viscosity. Some of them facilitate homogeneous dispersion of nanotubes in the resin. The properties of epoxy/nanotubes composites strongly depend on a uniform distribution of carbon nanotubes in the epoxy matrix. The type of epoxy resin, solvent, surfactant and mixing method for homogeneous dispersion of CNTs in the epoxy matrix was evaluated. The effect of CNTs functionalization type on their dispersion in the epoxy resins was evaluated on the basis of viscosity and microstructure studies.

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