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Multiscale polymer dynamics in hierarchical carbon nanotube reinforced glass fiber composites



Ajay Krishnamurthy, Ran Tao, Erkan Senses, Sagar Doshi, Erik Thostenson, Faraz Burni, Bharath Natarajan, Donald L. Hunston, Amanda L. Forster, Aaron M. Forster


Carbon-nanotube (CNT) grafted glass fiber reinforced epoxy nanocomposites (GFRP) present a hierarchy of stiffness (GPa to MPa) and lengths (µm to nm) scales at the fiber-matrix interphase. The contribution of interfacial CNT networks to the local and bulk polymer dynamics is not well understood and is studied here using a combination of dynamical mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) and neutron scattering experiments (NSE). DMTA outcomes from CNT-GFRP highlight a softening of the storage modulus (G') and a broadening of the loss modulus (G'') throughout the α-transition, accompanied by a minor reduction in α-transition temperature (Tα  5 °C). NSE measurements indicate that the amine-functionalized CNT interphase results in a higher hydrogen mean square displacement (MSD) across a wider temperature range than the GFRP. The amine- functionalized CNT interphase (thickness 100 nm to 5 µm) localized at the fiber surface imparts a rich viscoelastic behavior that is uniquely different from GFRP composites or dispersed CNT nanocomposites.
ACS Applied Polymer Materials


carbon nanotubes, viscoelasticity, TTS, fiber reinforced composites, hierarchical composites, neutron scattering
Created June 5, 2019, Updated September 13, 2019