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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 420432, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/420432
Research Article

The Curing Process of Epoxy/Amino-Functionalized MWCNTs: Calorimetry, Molecular Modelling, and Electron Microscopy

Departamento Ciencia e Ingeniería de Materiales, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, C/ Tulipán s/n, Móstoles, 28933 Madrid, Spain

Received 5 July 2010; Accepted 8 September 2010

Academic Editor: Xiao Wei Sun

Copyright © 2010 S. G. Prolongo 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

Curing kinetic of an epoxy resin reinforced with amino-functionalized MWCNTs has been studied by DSC and the obtained results were explained through morphological studies carried out by SEM, TEM, FEG-SEM, and molecular simulation tools. The presence of MWCNTs in the curing reaction induces a retardation effect of curing reaction and a decrease of the reaction heat. Both are associated with the adsorption of curing agent molecules inside carbon nanotubes, which was proved through the application of electron microscopic techniques and molecular simulation tools. It has been also demonstrated that there is a chemical reaction between amine groups anchored to the nanotubes and oxirane rings of epoxy monomer, which improves the nanoreinforcement/matrix interfacial adhesion, appearing a chemical interphase. The glass transition temperature () of epoxy matrix increases by the addition of MWCNTs due to the restriction of its mobility.