Investigation of curing kinetics of epoxy resin/novel nanoclay–carbon nanotube hybrids by non-isothermal differential scanning calorimetry
Chemical hybrid of nanoclay (NC)/carbon nanotube (CNT) was synthesized via growth of CNTs by chemical vapor deposition. The cure kinetics of epoxy resin in the presence of novel chemical hybrid of NC/CNT (CNC) was studied by non-isothermal differential scanning calorimetry. The effect of the CNC on cure kinetics was compared with conventional nanofillers such as CNTs, NC, and physical mixture of them (PNC). The kinetic parameters of the cure reaction were determined by iso-conversional method. The accelerating effect of CNT, CNC, and PNC in initial stage of cure reaction was related to the high thermal conductivity of CNTs, while the decelerating effect of nanofillers as the cure proceeded can be attributed to the reduction of polymer molecules motion caused by enhanced viscosity. The apparent activation energy (E α) as the function of conversion (α) was calculated by five methods categorized into two different types: (1) conversion-dependent methods: Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (KAS), Ozawa–Flynn–Wall (OFW), and Friedman; (2) conversion-independent methods: Kissinger and Augis. The accelerating effect of CNT, PNC, and CNC was observable as the reduced E α values in low conversion only with KAS and OFW methods. The reverse trend of E α values was observed with the introduction of these nanofillers at high conversions. The uniqueness of the CNC was more marked in increasing E α values of epoxy after initial stage due to its special 3D structure of CNC. Calculated data using KAS and OFW methods showed the best agreement with the obtained experimental data.
KeywordsCarbon nanotube–nanoclay hybrid Epoxy Chemical vapor deposition Cure kinetics Non-isothermal
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