Toughening mechanisms on recycled rubber modified epoxy based composites reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Recycling is a subject undergoing intense study in terms of sustainable development. In every area, recycling is strongly encouraged by governments due to the international agreements on environmental issues. For example, many industrial manufacturers have a tendency to find clean and cost-efficient solutions by utilizing recycled materials to produce new components. In this regard, rubbers have very wide usage in aeronautic and automotive industries both in structural and in interior body components. Rubbers are also used to modify brittle polymer components in the existence of hard, resistant fillers. In this study, fresh scrap EPDM rubbers are used to manufacture novel composites by modifying epoxy resin with the inclusion of graphene nano platelets (GnPs). Rather than micro sized particles, nanoparticles have high surface area, which means that a low content of these nanoparticles may enhance the material’s properties more efficiently. Besides, due to its superior structural, thermal and physical characteristics, addition of graphene promises improved mechanical properties if they can be dispersed homogeneously. This paper is focused on the fracture characteristics and toughening mechanisms of epoxy – fresh scrap rubber composites. The mechanical and physical properties of these composite systems are studied in the present work. Mechanical properties are examined by means of three-point bending tests with smooth and single edge notched beam specimens (SENB). Also, nano indentation tests were realized to see the creep compliance and viscoelastic properties. Finally, scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the fracture surfaces and the microstructure.

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© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019. Publisher's version of record:

Publication Title

Mechanics of Composite, Hybrid and Multifunctional Materials