Fracture Toughness and Elastic Modulus of Epoxy-Based Nanocomposites with Dopamine-Modified Nano-Fillers
Koh, Kwang Liang
Lau, Soo Khim
Date of Issue2017
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
This paper examines the effect of surface treatment and filler shape factor on the fracture toughness and elastic modulus of epoxy-based nanocomposite. Two forms of nanofillers, polydopamine-coated montmorillonite clay (D-clay) and polydopamine-coated carbon nanofibres (D-CNF) were investigated. It was found that Young’s modulus increases with increasing D-clay and D-CNF loading. However, the fracture toughness decreases with increased D-clay loading but increases with increased D-CNF loading. Explanations have been provided with the aid of fractographic analysis using electron microscope observations of the crack-filler interactions. Fractographic analysis suggests that although polydopamine provides a strong adhesion between the fillers and the matrix, leading to enhanced elastic stiffness, the enhancement prohibits energy release via secondary cracking, resulting in a decrease in fracture toughness. In contrast, 1D fibre is effective in increasing the energy dissipation during fracture through crack deflection, fibre debonding, fibre break, and pull-out.
© 2017 by The Author(s). Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).