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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Chemical Engineering

Advisor 1

Julia King

Advisor 2

Gregory Odegard

Committee Member 1

Ibrahim Miskioglu

Committee Member 2

Timothy Eisele


Huntsman-Merrimack MIRALON® carbon nanotubes (CNT’s) are a novel, highly entangled, commercially available, and scalable format of nanotubes. As-received and acid-treated CNT’s were added to aerospace grade epoxy (CYCOM® 977-3) and the composites were characterized. The epoxy resin is expected to infiltrate the network of the CNT’s and could improve mechanical properties. Epoxy composites were tested for flexural and viscoelastic properties and the as-received and acid treated CNT’s were characterized using field-emission scanning and transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Composites containing 0.4 wt% as-received CNT’s showed an increase in flexural strength, from 136.9 MPa for neat epoxy to 147.5 MPa. In addition, the flexural modulus increased from 3.88 GPa for the neat epoxy to 4.24 GPa and 4.49 GPa for the 2.0 wt% and 3.0 wt% as-received CNT/epoxy composites, respectively. FE-SEM micrographs indicated good dispersion of the CNT’s in the epoxy composites containing as-received CNT’s and CNT’s treated for 6 hours in 10 M nitric acid at 120 °C. CNT’s treated with 10 M nitric acid for 6 hours at 120 °C added oxygen containing functional groups (C-O, C=O, and O=C-O) and removed iron catalyst present on the as-received CNT’s, but the flexural properties of to the as-received CNT/epoxy composites.

As-received and highly entangled Huntsman-Merrimack MIRALON® CNT sock materials (HGR and/or X55 grades) were added to unidirectional Hexcel HexTow IM7 carbon fiber/Solvay CYCOM® 977-3 epoxy prepreg system and the hybrid composites were characterized for tensile, flexural, and short beam shear properties. The incorporation of 1 CNT sock layer interleaving all of the CF/epoxy prepreg layers in the layup did not improve either the 0° or 90° tensile or flexural properties of the composite. Additionally, there was no improvement in the interlaminar shear strength of the hybrid composites, when 1, 2, or 3 CNT sock layers (HGR and X55 grades) were added between each CF/epoxy prepreg layer