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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FUNCTIONALIZATION OF VEGETABLE OILS FOR USE IN THE POLYMER, OLEOCHEMICAL, AND LUBRICANT INDUSTRIES

Location: Bio-oils Research Unit

Title: One-pot preparation of graphene oxide/polyester nanocomposites by integrating solvent-exchange method and in situ melt polycondensation

Authors
item Liu, Chengguo -
item Huang, Yu'an -
item Xie, Hongfeng -
item LIU, ZENGSHE
item Chen, Ying -
item Lei, Wen -
item Hu, Lihong -
item Zhou, Yonghong -
item Cheng, Rongshi -

Submitted to: RSC Advances
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Graphene was discovered in 2004 to show superior mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. Fabricating nanocomposites of graphene with polymers has recently attracted additional attention because of the economies and advantageous properties of using graphene. The biggest challenge to that is how to incorporate graphene into polymer matrix to achieve single-layer graphene reinforced polymer. In this research, we discovered that graphene oxide (GO)/unsaturated polyester nanocomposites were fabricated by a one-pot method that integrates solvent-exchange method and in situ melt polycondensation. The analyses showed that GO nanosheets are finely dispersed in the polyester matrix and have strong interaction with the host polymer. This is significant because one layer GO alternate one layer host polymer with 0.32% GO will maximally increase tensile strength and modulus of this nanocomposite. These findings could benefit to their applications in aerospace, automobile and microelectronic industry.

Technical Abstract: Graphene oxide (GO)/unsaturated polyester nanocomposites were fabricated by a one-pot method that integrates the solvent-exchange method and in situ melt polycondensation. First, a novel solvent-exchange method was developed to prepare GO/ethylene glycol (EG) dispersions in a reactor equipped with a fractionating device. Second, the prepared dispersions were applied successively to fabricate GO/polyester composites via in situ melt polycondensation in the same reactor. The dispersion behavior of GO/EG dispersions was characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The structure and property of the prepared GO/polyester nanocomposites were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), tensile test, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The results of AFM show that GO nanosheets are well exfoliated in ethylene glycol. The results of FT-IR, XRD, Raman, SEM, TEM, and DMA indicate that the GO nanosheets are also finely exfoliated in the polyester matrix and have strong interaction with the host polymer. Compared to the neat unsaturated polyesters resin (UPR) matrix, the composite with a low GO content of 0.08% has a maximum increase of 53.6% and 48.4% in tensile strength and modulus; the composite with 0.32% GO content has a 10.7°C increase in thermal decomposition temperature and a 17.9°C increase in glass transition temperature.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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