Effect of water absorption on the mechanical properties of nano-filler reinforced epoxy nanocomposites
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This study aimed to investigate the effect of water absorption on the mechanical properties of nano-filler reinforced epoxy nanocomposites as well as to study the influence of different types of nano-fillers such as nano-clay platelets, halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) and nano-silicon carbide (n-SiC) particles on the water absorption behaviour of epoxy based nanocomposites. Results indicated that the addition of nano-fillers into epoxy matrix was found to decrease both water uptake and diffusivity compared to unfilled epoxy. Flexural strength and modulus of epoxy based nanocomposites were found to decrease due to the water absorption. However, the addition of nano-fillers enhanced the flexural strength and modulus of nanocomposites compared to wet unfilled epoxy. Surprising, fracture toughness and impact strength of all types of nanocomposites were found to increase after exposing to water. The presence of nano-fillers increased both fracture toughness and impact strength of nanocomposites compared to wet neat epoxy.
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