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Title: Chemically expanded graphite-based ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene nanocomposites with enhanced mechanical properties
Author: Somberg, Julian
Gonçalves, Gil
Soria Sanchez, Maria
Emami, Nazanin
Keywords: Chemically expanded graphite
Dynamic mechanical analysis
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Chemically expanded graphite (CEG) has recently been identified as promising reinforcement for polymer composites with the ability for commercial up-scaling. In this work, silane and polydopamine functionalized CEG were successfully synthesized and employed to prepare ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) composites with an enhanced interfa- cial compatibility. Characterisation of the functionalized CEG indicated a significant oxygen reduction, which gave rise to a restoration of the graphitic structure. The polydopamine functionalized CEG showed an enhanced exfoliation and dispersion in organic solvents and the polymer matrix with respect to the non-modified CEG. The silane functionalized CEG provided a higher affinity towards the matrix with polymer chains covering the CEG sheets on the fracture surfaces. The addition of functionalized CEG enhanced the mechanical prop- erties of the matrix with an increase in micro-hardness of up to 25% and storage modulus up to 58%. Furthermore, the hydrophobicity of the composites was significantly enhanced with an increase in water contact angle from 98.6◦ for the pure polymer to 119◦ for 5 wt% silane functionalized CEG. Preliminary wear experiments indicated the potential of the composites for tribological applications with a decrease in wear rate of up to 99% under water lubricated conditions.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2022.111304
ISSN: 0261-3069
Appears in Collections:TEMA - Artigos

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