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Analytical fracture toughness model for multiphase epoxy matrices modified by thermoplastic and carbon nanotube/thermoplastic

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-08, 08:25 authored by Hong MaHong Ma, Peihao Geng, Tingyu Xu, Aswani BandaruAswani Bandaru, Ali Aravand, Brian G. Falzon

The introduction of a toughener is considered one of the most effective approaches to address the brittleness of epoxy resins. This paper introduces an analytical model for investigating the Mode-I fracture toughness of modified epoxy resins by including a phase-separating thermoplastic (TP) polymer, polyetherimide (PEI), and the combination of PEI and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The fracture energy contributions from different toughening mechanisms, identified by the fractographical studies of the modified epoxy resins, were calculated, in which the energy contribution from TP deformation was obtained by molecular dynamics model simulation. The developed fracture toughness model showed satisfactory agreement with the experimental data. In the TP/epoxy binary system, the increase in TP content from 5 to 20 wt% resulted in a rise in the contribution of TP deformation (crack bridging) leading to a commensurate increase in fracture toughness from 33% to 70%. This transformation established TP deformation as the dominant mechanism for crack energy dissipation. In the CNT/TP/epoxy ternary system, from the model, the observed synergy in toughness was attributed to the improved dispersion of nanotubes. The developed analytical model may be used to formulate multiphase toughened resin matrices for optimal fracture toughness

History

Publication

Composites Part A 177, 107948

Publisher

Elsevier

Note

This article and has an embargo release date of 2/12/2025

Other Funding information

National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 52205390] and Queen’s University Belfast/China Scholarship Council(QUB/CSC) PhD Scholarship.

Rights

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing . Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 2024, 177, 107948, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2023.107948

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