Nanoparticle and Long Fiber Reinforced Thermoset Nanocomposites
A method to combine the advantages of both fiber reinforced plastics and polymer nanocomposites to produce a superior composite material.
Dispersion of nanoparticles into fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs) produces superior composites. Current methods face two problems: (1) best practices to disperse nanoparticles FRPs are not defined and (2) methods to maintain resin processability in the presence of nanoparticles are not understood. In addition, water or other small molecules may diffuse onto the interface between the polymer matrix, which substantially reduces interfacial strength and may cause adhesive failure. To develop superior composites from dispersion of nanoparticles in FRPs, processes must be developed to mitigate risks of mechanical failure.
Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. L. James Lee, have developed two novel methods to improve dispersion of nanoparticles into FRPs for the production of superior composites. In the first method, nanoparticles are mixed with the resin to reduce the viscosity during molding. After molding, heat and/or ultrasonic forces may be used during curing to disperse nanoparticles. The second method binds nanoparticles to the long fiber, then the binder between the nanoparticles and long fiber melt or dissolve in the resin during molding. Ultrasonic forces and/or heat may be applied during curing to improve dispersion of the nanoparticles.