Applied Rheology: Publications
Evgeni Ivanov, Hristiana Velichkova, Rumiana Kotsilkova, Silvia Bistarelli, Antonino Cataldo, Federico Micciulla, Stefano Bellucci
Rheological behavior of graphene/epoxy nanodispersions

Appl. Rheol. 27:2 (2017) 24469 (9 pages)

Abstract: Graphene/polymer nanocomposites are the latest trends in materials science in the recent years, but the technology of their preparation plays a crucial role in obtaining reliable materials with repeatable and enhanced properties. Up to now, there are many unresolved problems in controlling the dispersion of the graphene filler and the corresponding influence on the properties of the final nanocomposite materials. In the present study, we apply rheological methods for controlling the quality of the graphene dispersion. We prepare and characterize epoxy/graphene nanodispersions with graphene contents varying from 0.05 to 1 wt% and explore the effect of different mixing regimes on the dynamic moduli and viscosity, thus assessing the degree of the dispersion. The rheological percolation threshold and relaxation time spectra are determined, in order to evaluate the internal structure of the nanodispersions. The relaxation spectrum is highly efficient to probe the effects of interfaces and interconnections on the relaxation dynamics of molecules in nanodispersions. Rheological results combined with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations confirm that the low frequency dynamic viscosity and moduli strongly increase, with increasing the degree of dispersion due to the exfoliation of graphene sheets. The rheological percolation threshold was found at very low concentration depending from the processing conditions. The weight of the relaxation spectra is strongly shifted to higher values, compared to the neat epoxy resin and this effect is much stronger around and above the rheological percolation threshold. © 2017 Applied Rheology.

DOI 10.3933/ApplRheol-27-24469

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