Mechanical characterization and fractographic study of epoxy-kaolin polymer nanocomposites Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2015

start page

  • 70

end page

  • 76


  • 133

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0263-8223

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1085


  • In this work the mechanical behavior of composite materials formed by a diepoxy&-diamine (epoxy) thermosetting matrix filled with kaolin intercalated with ethylenediamine (K&-EDA) was studied. Fracture toughness experiments showed that an addition of 2 wt% K&-EDA to the epoxy matrix causes an approximately 24% increase in the critical stress intensity factor (KIC). The study of fracture mechanisms was completed using the double-notch four-point-bending test. The presence of kaolin particles in the matrix induces crack branching and deflection mechanisms. Furthermore, observation of the fracture surface revealed the presence of tails near kaolin particles, which is consistent with crack-pinning. The present study indicates that kaolin clay can be effective in toughening epoxy at small quantities if it is reasonably well dispersed.


  • epoxy; kaolin; polymer composites; fracture toughness; double notch four-point-bend