The role of alumina nanoparticles in epoxy adhesives
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- Dorigato, A. & Pegoretti, A. J Nanopart Res (2011) 13: 2429. doi:10.1007/s11051-010-0130-0
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Both untreated and calcined fumed alumina nanoparticles were dispersed into an epoxy-based adhesive at various percentages. The glass transition temperature of the nanofilled adhesives increased up to an optimal filler loading and then decreased, probably due to concurrent and contrasting effects of chain blocking and reduction of the crosslinking degree. Tensile modulus, stress at break, and fracture toughness of bulk adhesive were positively affected by the presence of untreated alumina nanoparticles at an optimal filler content. Mechanical tests on single-lap aluminum bonded joints indicated that untreated alumina nanoparticles markedly improved both the shear strength and fatigue life of the bonded joints. In particular, the shear strength increased by about 60% for an optimal filler content of 1 vol.%, and an adhesive failure mechanism was evidenced for all the tested specimens. Concurrently, a relevant decrease of the equilibrium contact angle with water was observed for nanofilled bulk adhesives. In summary, alumina nanoparticles can effectively improve the mechanical performances of epoxy structural adhesives, both by increasing their mechanical properties and by enhancing the interfacial wettability with an aluminum substrate.