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Mechanical and Electrical Testing of Nanocomposites containing Carbon Nanotubes

Mechanical and Electrical Testing of Nanocomposites containing Carbon Nanotubes

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Published by menonharsh
In this lab, different concentrations of carbon nanotubes were mixed with epoxy to create nanocomposites. The nanocomposites were subjected to a Vickers hardness test, a three-point bend test and an electrical conductivity test. Data from the tests was used to determine properties such as ultimate tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, Vickers hardness and electrical conductivity. The experimental values were then compared to “book” values for nanotubes and for epoxy. The nanocomposite’s properties were found to be closer to those of epoxy. After fracture, the specimen were viewed under a scanning electron microscope to determine the nature of the bonding between the nanotubes and the epoxy. The nanotubes were found to clump together and did not mix homogeneously with the epoxy.

Nanocomposites are particulate composites with carbon nanotubes as the reinforcement phase and a polymer (epoxy) as the matrix phase. Carbon nanotubes are sheets of graphene that have been curled or coiled up. They exists as single sheets of graphene and are called single walled nanotubes (SWNT) or exist as multiple sheets of graphene and are called multiwalled nanotubes (MWNT). The nanocomposites fabricated in the lab contained MWNTs.

Data from the experiment and analysis led to a threshold hypothesis which postulated upper and lower thresholds in the concentrations of the nanocomposite beyond which the nanotube dominates or the epoxy dominates. The hypothesis was used to explain the mechanical properties and the electrical properties to a certain extent. The wide scatter of experimental data for the electrical properties was the primary reason why the hypothesis could not be used to explain the electrical properties.

This paper introduces the fabrication methods and the testing methods employed on the nanocomposites and presents results of their mechanical and electrical properties. A discussion on trends in the properties and comparison with “book” values is also presented. Future recommendations are also presented.
In this lab, different concentrations of carbon nanotubes were mixed with epoxy to create nanocomposites. The nanocomposites were subjected to a Vickers hardness test, a three-point bend test and an electrical conductivity test. Data from the tests was used to determine properties such as ultimate tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, Vickers hardness and electrical conductivity. The experimental values were then compared to “book” values for nanotubes and for epoxy. The nanocomposite’s properties were found to be closer to those of epoxy. After fracture, the specimen were viewed under a scanning electron microscope to determine the nature of the bonding between the nanotubes and the epoxy. The nanotubes were found to clump together and did not mix homogeneously with the epoxy.

Nanocomposites are particulate composites with carbon nanotubes as the reinforcement phase and a polymer (epoxy) as the matrix phase. Carbon nanotubes are sheets of graphene that have been curled or coiled up. They exists as single sheets of graphene and are called single walled nanotubes (SWNT) or exist as multiple sheets of graphene and are called multiwalled nanotubes (MWNT). The nanocomposites fabricated in the lab contained MWNTs.

Data from the experiment and analysis led to a threshold hypothesis which postulated upper and lower thresholds in the concentrations of the nanocomposite beyond which the nanotube dominates or the epoxy dominates. The hypothesis was used to explain the mechanical properties and the electrical properties to a certain extent. The wide scatter of experimental data for the electrical properties was the primary reason why the hypothesis could not be used to explain the electrical properties.

This paper introduces the fabrication methods and the testing methods employed on the nanocomposites and presents results of their mechanical and electrical properties. A discussion on trends in the properties and comparison with “book” values is also presented. Future recommendations are also presented.

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Published by: menonharsh on May 12, 2008
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LAB REPORT 2:MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL TESTING OFNANOCOMPOSITES CONTAINING CARBONNANOTUBES
Date of Submission: 21 November 2006By ________________________________ Harsh Menonmenon387@erau.eduSubmitted to Dr. David Lanning, Jr.Department of Aerospace EngineeringCollege of EngineeringEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityIn Partial FulfillmentOf the RequirementsOf ES 321.02 Engineering Materials ScienceFall 2006Embry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityPrescott, Arizona
 
Carbon Nanotubesi5/11/2008
ABSTRACT
In this lab, different concentrations of carbon nanotubes were mixed with epoxy to createnanocomposites. The nanocomposites were subjected to a Vickers hardness test, a three- point bend test and an electrical conductivity test. Data from the tests was used todetermine properties such as ultimate tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, Vickershardness and electrical conductivity. The experimental values were then compared to“book” values for nanotubes and for epoxy. The nanocomposite’s properties were foundto be closer to those of epoxy. After fracture, the specimen were viewed under a scanningelectron microscope to determine the nature of the bonding between the nanotubes andthe epoxy. The nanotubes were found to clump together and did not mix homogeneouslywith the epoxy. Nanocomposites are particulate composites with carbon nanotubes as the reinforcement phase and a polymer (epoxy) as the matrix phase. Carbon nanotubes are sheets of graphene that have been curled or coiled up. They exists as single sheets of graphene andare called single walled nanotubes (SWNT) or exist as multiple sheets of graphene andare called multiwalled nanotubes (MWNT). The nanocomposites fabricated in the labcontained MWNTs.Data from the experiment and analysis led to a threshold hypothesis which postulatedupper and lower thresholds in the concentrations of the nanocomposite beyond which thenanotube dominates or the epoxy dominates. The hypothesis was used to explain themechanical properties and the electrical properties to a certain extent. The wide scatter of experimental data for the electrical properties was the primary reason why the hypothesiscould not be used to explain the electrical properties.This paper introduces the fabrication methods and the testing methods employed on thenanocomposites and presents results of their mechanical and electrical properties. Adiscussion on trends in the properties and comparison with “book” values is also presented. Future recommendations are also presented.

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