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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 515739, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/515739
Research Article

Preparation, Characterization, and Enhanced Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Epoxy-Titania Composites

1Department of Chemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
2Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
3Affiliated Colleges at Hafr Al-Batin, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, P.O. Box 1803, Hafr Al-Batin 31991, Saudi Arabia
4Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad 45650, Pakistan

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 24 October 2013; Published 20 January 2014

Academic Editors: T. Fiedler, X. Jia, and A. T. Marques

Copyright © 2014 Zakya Rubab 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

This paper presents the synthesis and thermal and mechanical properties of epoxy-titania composites. First, submicron titania particles are prepared via surfactant-free sol-gel method using TiCl4 as precursor. These particles are subsequently used as inorganic fillers (or reinforcement) for thermally cured epoxy polymers. Epoxy-titania composites are prepared via mechanical mixing of titania particles with liquid epoxy resin and subsequently curing the mixture with an aliphatic diamine. The amount of titania particles integrated into epoxy matrix is varied between 2.5 and 10.0 wt.% to investigate the effect of sub-micron titania particles on thermal and mechanical properties of epoxy-titania composites. These composites are characterized by X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric (TG), and mechanical analyses. It is found that sub-micron titania particles significantly enhance the glass transition temperature (>6.7%), thermal oxidative stability (>12.0%), tensile strength (>21.8%), and Young’s modulus (>16.8%) of epoxy polymers. Epoxy-titania composites with 5.0 wt.% sub-micron titania particles perform best at elevated temperatures as well as under high stress.