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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 703708, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/703708
Review Article

Cure Kinetics of Epoxy Nanocomposites Affected by MWCNTs Functionalization: A Review

1Department of Resin and Additives, Institute for Color Science and Technology, P.O. Box 16765-654, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Polymer Processing, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, Tehran 14965-115, Iran
3Leibniz-Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
4Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Werkstoffwissenschaft, 01062 Dresden, Germany

Received 21 August 2013; Accepted 24 September 2013

Academic Editors: W. Ding and Y. Tian

Copyright © 2013 Mohammad Reza Saeb 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 current paper provides an overview to emphasize the role of functionalization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in manipulating cure kinetics of epoxy nanocomposites, which itself determines ultimate properties of the resulting compound. In this regard, the most commonly used functionalization schemes, that is, carboxylation and amidation, are thoroughly surveyed to highlight the role of functionalized nanotubes in controlling the rate of autocatalytic and vitrification kinetics. The current literature elucidates that the mechanism of curing in epoxy/MWCNTs nanocomposites remains almost unaffected by the functionalization of carbon nanotubes. On the other hand, early stage facilitation of autocatalytic reactions in the presence of MWCNTs bearing amine groups has been addressed by several researchers. When carboxylated nanotubes were used to modify MWCNTs, the rate of such reactions diminished as a consequence of heterogeneous dispersion within the epoxy matrix. At later stages of curing, however, the prolonged vitrification was seen to be dominant. Thus, the type of functional groups covalently located on the surface of MWCNTs directly affects the degree of polymer-nanotube interaction followed by enhancement of curing reaction. Our survey demonstrated that most widespread efforts ever made to represent multifarious surface-treated MWCNTs have not been directed towards preparation of epoxy nanocomposites, but they could result in property synergism.