A Comparative Study on the Mechanical and Barrier Characteristics of Polyimide Nanocomposite Films Filled with Nanoparticles of Planar and Tubular Morphology

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


Polyimide (PI) films based on poly(pyromellitic dianhydride-co-4,4'-oxydianiline) (PI-PM) were filled with different nanoparticles, such as organically modified montmorillonite (MMT), vapor-grown carbon nanofibers (VGCF), and silicate nanotubes (SNT) of different concentration.. Rheological measurements and structural investigations showed a relatively good dispersion of the nanoparticles in the PI matrix to an extent that depended on the type and morphology of the nanoparticles used. The mechanical (tensile modulus, strength, and deformation at break) and the barrier (oxygen permeability) properties of PI-PM nanocomposite films were investigated. The polyimide nanocomposites filled with SNT and tubular VGCF nanoparticles showed an increased tensile modulus with increasing volume concentration of the nanoparticles without a catastrophic decrease in the elongation at break. In addition, the MMT particles, chemically modified with 4,4'-bis-(4 ''-aminophenoxy) diphenylsulfone, significantly improved the barrier properties of the PI-PM films, which exceeded those of the nanocomposites filled with VGCF or SNT. The relative poor oxygen barrier and mechanical properties of the PI-PM/VGCF nanocomposite films are ascribed to the relative weak adhesion between the VGCF and the polyimide matrix, which was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy of the fracture surface of these films.

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Mechanics of Composite Materials





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