(650d) Elastomeric and Mechanoresponsive Polymer Matrix Composites: Design, Synthesis, and Performance
The development of multifunctional polymer matrix composites (PMCs) is highly desirable for high strength materials, armor, weapons systems, and machine parts. Research over the past couple of decades has focused on loading carbon nanotubes (CNTs) due to the synergistic increases in mechanical properties and conductivity. However, two problems continue to persist: 1) insufficient dispersive forces lead to nanoparticle aggregation, and 2) the failure mechanism of high performance composites is still not well documented. Modifying the surface chemistry of nanoparticles has shown to improve the distribution throughout the matrix and, subsequently, enhance the tensile strength and/or conductivity of the matrix. Furthermore, mechanoresponsive groups that produce light when activated by stress or strain have been incorporated to better understand the failure of composites, which enables spatial and temporal observation of molecular changes to the thermoset under a mechanical force.This talk will focus on the synthesis and characterization of novel elastomeric PMCs containing surface functionalized CNTs and mechanoresponsive functionalities. The nanocomposite properties, including nanoparticle dispersion, PMC microstructure, composite modulus and thermomechanical properties, and the mechanoresponsive behavior will be discussed.