Fundamental Characterization of Epoxy-Silica Nanocomposites Used for the Manufacturing of Fiber Reinforced Composites
Nanocomposites based on silica nanoparticles and high performance epoxy resins are investigated for their suitability as a new type of matrix for fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) using injection technologies (LCM). The key focus is on the determination of the processing parameters at varying silica nanoparticle content. The homogeneous distribution of the nanoscaled silica in the epoxy matrix is proven by photon cross correlation spectroscopy (PCCS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. Depending on the silica content of the composite, its stiffness, strength and toughness can be increased significantly compared with the neat resin. The mechanical performance is discussed by failure mechanisms based on the analysis of the fracture surface morphology. Moreover, resin shrinkage and the thermal expansion are significantly reduced both important for lowering internal stress in FRP. The injectability of the nanocomposite for the purpose of lamination using the LCM technology is nearly unaffected. Epoxy-silica nanocomposites are now proven to be a new high performance polymer matrix for FRP structures manufactured by the low cost LCM techniques.
KeywordsSilica Nanoparticles Dynamic Mechanical Analysis Neat Resin Heat Distortion Temperature Master Batch
The authors wish to thank Mr. C. Schilde (Institut of Particle Technology, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany) for AFM measurements and Dr. S. Sprenger (Hanse-Chemie AG; Geesthacht, Germany) for providing with the resin master batch.
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