Gagi Tauhidur Rahman, Moumita Tasnim Meem, Md. Abdul Gafur, Abu Mahmud and Md. Asadul Hoque* Pages 135 - 141 ( 7 )
Background: Polymer matrix-based composites are the workhorse of the composite industries. Besides, the idea of modifying the polymer matrix by various inorganic fillers has greatly drawn the attention of materials engineers due to their diversified applications and advanced properties.
Objective: The objective of this work was to prepare and characterize Titania (TiO2) and Silica (SiO2) nanoparticles and develop 1wt%, 3wt%, 5wt% and 10wt% TiO2 and SiO2 incorporated epoxy-based nanocomposites. Here, we used TiO2 incorporated epoxy composites as a model to compare the effectiveness and contribution of locally available nano SiO2 in the epoxy matrix.
Method: The TiO2 nanoparticles were prepared by most famous and conventional sol-gel method and SiO2 nanoparticles were extracted from Padma river (silica) sand obtained from Rajshahi city, Bangladesh from a very easy and inexpensive route. Both TiO2/epoxy and SiO2/epoxy nanocomposites (approximately 1.3-1.5 mm thick) were prepared via a solution casting method incorporating the TiO2 and SiO2 nanofillers in the epoxy matrix.
Results: The XRD patterns and SEM image ensure the formation of TiO2 and SiO2 nanoparticles. A number of tests reveal that mechanical properties especially hardness and young’s modulus of the nanocomposites have increased while decreasing the tensile and flexural strength than neat epoxy due to the incorporation of nanofiller. It is visible that, TiO2/epoxy nanocomposites have shown better performance than the virgin epoxy but surprisingly in most cases, nano SiO2 exhibited comparable and even better contribution than TiO2/epoxy nanocomposites. This indicates that the use of TiO2 in epoxy might be replaced by inexpensive nano SiO2 to be used in various structural sectors.
Conclusion: The TiO2 and SiO2 nanoparticles were synthesized successfully. The preliminary experiments predict that the addition of nanoparticles (TiO2, SiO2) converts the composite from being ductile into a brittle material where SiO2/epoxy shows comparable performance with TiO2/epoxy nanocomposites.
Epoxy resins, nanoparticles, nanocomposites, mechanical properties, solution casting, SiO2, TiO2.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dhanmondi, Dhaka- 1205, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi