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Study of matrix micro-cracking in nano clay and acrylic tri-block-copolymer modified epoxy/basalt fiber-reinforced pressure-retaining structures

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Journal: eXPRESS Polymer Letters
ISSN 1788-618X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 882;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Polymer composites | Epoxy nanocomposites | Filament winding | Fracture toughness | Matrix cracking

ABSTRACT
In fiber-reinforced polymer pressure-retaining structures, such as pipes and vessels, micro-level failure commonly causes fluid permeation due to matrix cracking. This study explores the effect of nano-reinforcements on matrix cracking in filament-wound basalt fiber/epoxy composite structures. The microstructure and mechanical properties of bulk epoxy nanocomposites and hybrid fiber-reinforced composite pipes modified with acrylic tri-block-copolymer and organophilic layered silicate clay were investigated. In cured epoxy, the tri-block-copolymer phase separated into disordered spherical micelle inclusions; an exfoliated and intercalated structure was observed for the nano-clay. Block-copolymer addition significantly enhanced epoxy fracture toughness by a mechanism of particle cavitation and matrix shear yielding, whereas toughness remained unchanged in nano-clay filled nanocomposites due to the occurrence of lower energy resistance phenomena such as crack deflection and branching.Tensile stiffness increased with nano-clay content, while it decreased slightly for block-copolymer modified epoxy. Composite pipes modified with either the organic and inorganic nanoparticles exhibited moderate improvements in leakage failure strain (i.e. matrix cracking strain); however, reductions in functional and structural failure strength were observed.
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Tango Rapperswil
Tango Rapperswil