- February 2009
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- In this work, a new material based on an epoxy thermoset modified with a thermoplastic filled with silica nanoparticles was investigated. When thermoplastic particles are filled with nanoparticles with unique properties such as high efficiency for absorbing ultraviolet light, electric or magnetic shielding, high electrical conductivity, and high dielectric constants, more than an enhancement of the mechanical properties is expected to be achieved for modified epoxy-based thermosets. Particles of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) filled with silica nanoparticles were used to modify a thermoset based on a full reaction between diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A and 3-(aminomethyl)benzylamine. When the preformed thermoplastic particles were mixed with the reactive constituents of the epoxy system under certain curing conditions in which total miscibility was avoided, uniform particle dispersions could be obtained. The relationships between the composition, morphology (nanoscale and microscale), glass-transition temperature, mechanical properties, and fracture toughness were considered. Four main results were obtained for consideration of the potential of silica-filled PMMA as an important modifier of brittle epoxy thermoset systems: (1) a good dispersion of the silica nanoparticles in the PMMA domains, (2) a good dispersion of the silica-filled PMMA microparticles in the epoxy matrix, (3) the possibility of partial dissolution of the PMMA-rich domains into the epoxy system, and (4) a slight increase in properties such as the hardness, indentation modulus, and fracture toughness.
- atomic force microscopy (afm); hardness; interfaces; nanocomposites