Accelerated hydrothermal aging of cycloaliphatic epoxy/graphene nanoparticle composites

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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Cycloaliphatic epoxy (CE) resin systems are of primary interest in applications that require improved resistance to harsh conditions relative to other epoxy systems. Because other epoxy systems have demonstrated improved resistance to hydrothermal aging with the addition of carbon-based nanoparticle reinforcement, it is expected that the hydrothermal resistance of CE resins will likewise be improved with incorporation of nanoparticles. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine the influence of graphene nanoparticles (GNP) on the hydrothermal aging resistance of CE resins. CE specimens are fabricated with varying levels of GNP and exposed to elevated temperatures and moisture levels for varying amounts of time up to 400 h. The results from flexure and dynamical-mechanical testing indicate that the addition of GNP provides modest improvements in the stiffness and glass transition temperature for all aging levels, while the strength is improved for aging times below 400 h.

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Polymer Degradation and Stability