Development and characterization of graphene/glass fiber/polyester composites
Polymeric matrices containing nano-size additives have demonstrated remarkable mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties when compared to their micro-composite counterparts. Inserting graphene in a polymer matrix consisting of a glass fiber-reinforced resin is assumed to significantly increase the material electrical conductivity, which is needed in order to fulfill electrical conductivity requirements traditionally met by carbon black incorporation. However, in order to manufacture such graphene-containing polymeric composites, three major processing challenges have to be overcome: re-agglomeration, graphene sedimentation as well as the increase in matrix viscosity. Accordingly, in this project, the effect of different grades of NanoXplores graphene on the morphology, electrical and mechanical properties of graphene/glass fiber/polyester composites will be investigated. The focus will be on interfacial interactions between filler and fiber; filler and matrix; fiber and matrix.