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Graphite nanoplatelets/polymer nanocomposites: thermomechanical, dielectric, and functional behavior

Abstract

Exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets (GNP)/epoxy resin nanocomposites were prepared and tested, varying the amount of the filler content. Systems’ morphology was investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy, while their thermal response was examined via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Broadband dielectric spectroscopy and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis were employed in order to characterize the produced systems. Static mechanical tests were also conducted at ambient. Reinforced systems exhibit improved performance under mechanical and electrical excitation. In particular, storage modulus increases systematically with GNP content. DSC results imply that glass transition temperature is not affected by the presence of GNP. Flexural modulus and storage modulus, as determined by static and dynamic mechanical tests, respectively, increased with filler content. Dielectric permittivity increases also systematically with GNP content. Recorded relaxation processes arise from the glass to rubber transition of the polymer matrix (α-mode), re-orientation of polar side groups of the polymer chains (β-mode), and interfacial polarization because of the accumulation of charges at the systems’ interface. Finally, the energy storing efficiency of the nanocomposites enhances with reinforcing phase in the examined frequency and temperature range. Optimum performance corresponds to the nanocomposite with maximum GNP loading.

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Acknowledgements

This research has been co‐financed by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)Research Funding Program: THALES. Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund.

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Correspondence to G. C. Psarras.

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Patsidis, A.C., Kalaitzidou, K. & Psarras, G.C. Graphite nanoplatelets/polymer nanocomposites: thermomechanical, dielectric, and functional behavior. J Therm Anal Calorim 116, 41–49 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10973-014-3704-8

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Keywords

  • Exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets
  • Polymer nanocomposites
  • Dielectric properties
  • Thermomechanical properties
  • Energy storage