Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Malhotra, Vivak

Abstract

Epoxy resin is an important engineering material in many industries such as electronics, automotive, aerospace, etc not only because it is an excellent adhesive but also because the materials based on it provide outstanding mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. Epoxy resin has been proved to be an excellent matrix material for the nanocomposites when including another phase such as inorganic nanofillers. The properties of a nanocomposite material, in general, are a hybrid between the properties of matrix material and the nanofillers. In this sense, the thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties of a nanocomposite may be affected by the corresponding properties of matrix material. When the sonication is used to disperse the nanofillers in the polymer matrix, with the dispersal of the nanofillers, there comes some modification in the matrix as well and it finally affects the properties of nanocomposites. In this regard, we attempted to study the thermal, mechanical, and dynamic properties of EPON 862 epoxy resin where ultrasonic processing was taken as the effect causing variable. Uncured epoxy was subjected to thermal behavior studies before and after ultrasonic treatment and the cured epoxies with amine hardener EPICURE 3223 (diethylenetriamine) after sonications were tested for mechanical and dynamic properties. We monitored the ultrasonic processing effect in fictive temperature, enthalpy, and specific heat capacity using differential scanning calorimetry. Fictive temperature decreased whereas enthalpy and specific heat capacity were found to increase with the increased ultrasonic processing time. Cured epoxy rectangular solid strips were used to study the mechanical and dynamic properties. Flexural strength at 3% strain value measured with Dillon universal testing machine under 3-point bending method was found to degrade with the ultrasonic processing. The storage modulus and damping properties were studied for the two samples sonicated for 60 minutes and 120 minutes. Our study showed that the 60 minutes sonicated sample has higher damping or loss modulus than 120 minutes sonicated sample.

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