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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Processing and properties of SiC/vinyl ester nanocomposites

  • Author(s): Yong, V
  • Hahn, H T
  • et al.

The feasibility of improving polymer composites was investigated using 30 nm SiC nanoparticles in a vinyl ester resin. Even when the particle loading was less than 4% by weight, the viscosity of the nanoparticle suspension was found to increase much higher than that of microparticle suspension. This phenomenon may be the result of association between nanoparticles and polymer molecules, effectively making the nanoparticles larger. The resulting reduction in the mobility of polymer molecules also led to delayed curing. Ultrasonic mixing did not fully disperse the particles. As a result, the composite strength did not improve although the modulus increased. The use of a dispersant, methacryloxy propyl trimethoxy silane (MPS), improved the dispersion quality and hence the composite strength. The paper discusses the issues involved with processing, characterization and properties of SiC/vinyl ester nanocomposites. Methods of improving the nanocomposite quality are proposed in the paper as well.

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