Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Resin/reinforcement wetting is a key parameter in the manufacturing of carbon nanotube (CNT)-based composite materials. Determining the contact angle between combinations of liquid resin and reinforcement surfaces is a common method for quantifying wettability. As experimental measurement of contact angle can be difficult when screening multiple high-performance resins with CNT materials such as CNT bundles or yarns, computational approaches are necessary to fa-cilitate CNT composite material design. A molecular dynamics simulation method is developed to predict the contact angle of high-performance polymer resins on CNT surfaces dominated by aromatic carbon, aliphatic carbon, or a mixture thereof (amorphous carbon). Several resin systems are simulated and compared. The results indicate that the monomer chain length, chemical groups on the monomer, and simulation temperature have a significant impact on the predicted contact angle values on the CNT surface. Difunctional epoxy and cyanate ester resins show the overall highest levels of wettability, regardless of the aromatic/aliphatic nature of the CNT material surface. Tetra-functional epoxy demonstrates excellent wettability on aliphatic-dominated surfaces at elevated temperatures. Bismaleimide and benzoxazine resins show intermediate levels of wetting, while typ-ical molecular weights of polyether ether ketone demonstrate poor wetting on the CNT surfaces.
Odegard, G. M.
Wetting simulations of high-performance polymer resins on carbon surfaces as a function of temperature using molecular dynamics.
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