Research Article

Frontiers of Materials Science in China

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 415-422

First online:

Curing behavior and kinetic analysis of epoxy resin/multi-walled carbon nanotubes composites

  • Fang Zhengping Affiliated withDepartment of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering, Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang UniversityInstitute of Polymer Composites, Zhejiang University Email author 
  • , Wang Jianguo Affiliated withInstitute of Polymer Composites, Zhejiang University
  • , Gu Aijuan Affiliated withInstitute of Polymer Composites, Zhejiang University
  • , Tong Lifang Affiliated withInstitute of Polymer Composites, Zhejiang University

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The effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), both amino-functionalized (f-MWNTs) and unfunctionalized (p-MWNTs) on the curing behavior of epoxy resin (EP) cured with triethanolamine (TEA), was investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Because the triethylenetetramine (TETA) grafted on the f-MWNTs could act as curing agent and the produced tertiary amine as negative ionic catalysts of curing reaction of EP, so the activation energy of the EP/TEA system was decreased by the addition of f-MWNTs. Viscosity played a key role in the curing behavior of the EP/TEA/MWNTs system, for high viscosity of the EP/TEA/MWNTs system could hinder the motion of the functional groups. The curing heat in EP/TEA/f-MWNTs (weight ratio 1/0.1/0.01) system was higher than the neat EP/TEA (weight ratio 1/0.1) system, while the curing heat in EP/TEA/p-MWNTs (weight ratio 1/0.1/0.01) was lower than the neat system. When the content of f-MWNTs was increased to 2 phr (weight ratio of 1/0.1/0.02), the curing heat became lower than that of the neat EP/TEA system, which was the result of the higher viscosity of the EP/f-MWNTs/TEA system. Since the curing heat indicated the curing degree of the system generally, the addition of the f-MWNTs was thought to increase the curing degree of the epoxy matrix at a relatively low content.


kinetics epoxy resin (EP) multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) viscosity