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Experimental and Theoretical Analysis of Mechanical Properties of Graphite/Polyethylene Terephthalate Nanocomposites
Polymers, Volume: 14, Issue: 9, Start page: 1718
Swansea University Author: Mokarram Hossain
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In this work, graphite nanoplatelets (GNP) were incorporated into poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix to prepare PET-GNP nanocomposites using a melt compounding followed by compression moulding and then quenching process. Both static and dynamic mechanical properties of these quenched materia...
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In this work, graphite nanoplatelets (GNP) were incorporated into poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix to prepare PET-GNP nanocomposites using a melt compounding followed by compression moulding and then quenching process. Both static and dynamic mechanical properties of these quenched materials were characterized as a function of GNP contents using dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) and tensile machine, respectively. The results demonstrated that the addition of GNP improved the stiffness of PET significantly. Additionally, the maximum increase in the storage modulus of 72 % at 6 wt. % GNP. The incorporation of GNP beyond 6 wt. % into PET decreases the storage moduli, but they remain higher than pure PET. The observed reduction could be due to agglomeration, resulting in poorer dispersion and distribution of higher levels of GNP into the PET matrix. In contrast to the results for moduli, tensile strength and elongations at break reduce with increasing the GNP content. For example, tensile strength reduced from ~ 46 MPa (neat PET) to ~ 39 MPa (- 15 %) for the nanocomposites containing 2 wt. % GNP. This reduction is accompanied by a decline in elongation at break from ~ 6.3 (neat PET) to ~ 3.4 (- 46 %) for the same nanocomposites. Such reductions are followed by a gradual decrease in upon further addition of GNP. These reductions indicate that increasing GNP loadings, results in brittleness in nanocomposites. In addition, it was found that quenched PET and composite samples were not fully crystallized after processing and therefore (cold) crystallized during the first heating cycle DMTA, as indicated by a rise in storage moduli above the glass transition temperature during the DMTA first heat. Furthermore, mathematical models based on non-linear theories are developed to capture the experimental data. For this, a set of mechanical stress-strain data is used for model parameters’ identification. Another set of data is used for the model validation that demonstrates good agreements with the experimental study.
Graphite Nanoplatelets (GNP), Poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET), Nanocomposites, Mechanical tests, Mathematical models
College of Engineering
This theoretical analysis of this research was funded by the Deputyship for Research & Innovation, Ministry of Education, in Saudi Arabia, through project number 375213500.