Impact of dispersion of interfaces on the rheology of polymeric nanocomposites.
University of Southampton , School of Electronics and Computer Science,
This work focuses on the rheological properties of polymeric nanocomposites. A model system based on aqueous surfactant dispersions is explored to define the limitations of a concentric cylinder rheometer and its software. Following on from this, hydropolymeric/silicate clay dispersions are studied to assess if dispersion can be quantified. To this end, a reliable methodology of data processing is described, which incorporates the use of the De Kee equation for a variety of sample compositions. The effects caused by the presence of silicate particulates on the crystallisation properties are studied using optical microscopy techniques.
Electrical characterisation using standard AC breakdown techniques is applied to study the effects rheological dispersion has on an epoxy composites insulation properties. Two types of filler are used; silicates and hydroxides of alumina in the form of montmorillonite and functionalised and unfunctionalised boehmite. Raman spectroscopy is used to identify the surface chemistry of the functionalised boehmite.
Lastly, the Raman technique is employed in developing a methodology to organically modify inorganic particulates in the form of nano sized silicon dioxide. Functionalised silicon dioxide nanocomposites are manufactured using a combination of sonication and rheology to promote dispersion. Samples are then electrically tested using a standard AC electrical break down procedure.
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