Carbon nanotubes dispersion assessment in nanocomposites by means of a pulsed thermographic approach

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The extensive production of polymer composites reinforced by carbon nanotube is limited by the absence of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods capable of assessing product quality to guarantee compliance with specifications. It is well known that the level of dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the polymer matrix is the parameter that, much more than others, can influence their enhancement capabilities. Here an active Infrared Thermography Non Destructive Testing(IR-NDT) inspection, joined with pulsed phase thermography (PPT), were applied for the first time to epoxy-CNT composites to evaluate the level of dispersion of the nanoparticles. The PPT approach was tested on three groups of epoxy nanocomposite samples with different levels of dispersion of the nanoparticles. The phasegrams obtained with the presented technique clearly show clusters, or bundles, of CNTs when present, so a comparison with the reference sample is not necessary to evaluate the quality of the dispersion. Therefore, the new NDE approach can be applied to verify that the expected dispersion levels are met in products made from epoxy and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs). The mechanisms underlying the effects of the dispersion of carbon nanotube on the thermal response of polymer composites have been identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science

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