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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 634726, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/634726
Research Article

Optimizing the Processing Conditions for the Reinforcement of Epoxy Resin by Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati 781039, India

Received 31 May 2013; Accepted 6 July 2013

Academic Editor: Guifu Zou

Copyright © 2013 S. Arun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The reinforcement of epoxy by MWCNTs is done to obtain the required properties of composites. However, the homogeneous dispersion of MWCNTs in epoxy is a critical problem. Hence, an attempt is made to optimize the processing conditions for dispersing the MWCNTs in epoxy by solvent dispersion technique. The epoxy/MWCNTs mixture was prepared using three methods: (1) magnetic stirring at 55°C, (2) hot air oven process at 55°C, and (3) vacuum oven process at room temperature. The nanocomposites having 0.1 and 0.2 wt.% of MWCNTs were prepared, for each method. The mechanical properties of nanocomposites were studied as per ASTM-D695, and the thermal conductivity was measured using KD2 probe. It is observed that the compressive strength, Young’s modulus, and thermal conductivity of 0.2 wt.% of MWCNTs prepared by vacuum oven method were found to be enhanced by 39.4, 10.7, and 59.2%, respectively, compared to those of pure epoxy. Though the properties of nanocomposites were increased with MWCNTs’ concentration irrespective of the processing techniques, the vacuum-processed sample showed the most enhanced properties compared to any other method. It is concluded that a unique method for the dispersion of MWCNTs in epoxy is the solvent dispersion technique with vacuum drying process.