Title: Optimal design of process parameters, experimental fabrication and characterisation of a novel hybrid polymer nanocomposite

Authors: Shyh-Chour Huang; Minh-Tai Le

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, 415 Chien Kung Road, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung 80778, Taiwan ' Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, No. 1, Vo Van Ngan, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam

Abstract: The aim of the work was to fabricate and characterise a novel nanocomposite material that is a multiphase hybrid polymer composite with MWCNT filler. The optimisation of process parameters on tensile strength of epoxy/polyester/MWCNT nanocomposites using the Taguchi method was performed. The contribution of each process parameter on the output response was then analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Experimental specimens were then made to confirm optimum values for each process parameter. The results indicated that the tensile strength of the optimal nanocomposites was improved to 86.3% with the addition of MWCNTs at a ratio of 1%. The results of nanoindentation tests exhibited the enhancement of Young's modulus and hardness by 71% and 27.5%, respectively, at 1% of MWCNTs. Morphologies of the fracture surface of resulting nanocomposites observed by a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) showed good adhesion between the fillers and the resin.

Keywords: multi-walled CNTs; carbon nanotubes; MWCNTs; epoxy; polyester; polymer nanocomposites; Taguchi methods; analysis of variance; ANOVA; tensile strength; nanoindentation; mechanical properties; morphology; fracture surface; scanning electron microscopy; SEM; optimal design; process parameters; filler-resin adhesion; Young's modulus; hardness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.2016.075499

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 2016 Vol.52 No.3/4, pp.362 - 380

Received: 04 Feb 2015
Accepted: 02 Sep 2015

Published online: 13 Mar 2016 *

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