The potential use of electrospun polylactic acid nanofibres as alternative reinforcements in an epoxy composite system
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This pilot study elaborates the development of novel epoxy/electrospun polylactic acid (PLA) nanofibre composites at the fibre contents of 3, 5 and 10 wt% to evaluate their mechanical and thermal properties using flexural tests and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The flexural moduli of composites increase remarkably by 50.8% and 24.0% for 5 wt% and 10 wt% fibre contents, respectively, relative to that of neat epoxy. Furthermore, the similar tendency is also shown for corresponding flexural strengths being enhanced by 31.6% and 4.8%. Fractured surface morphology with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirms a full permeation of cured epoxy matrix into nanofibre structures and existence of non-destructive fibrous networks inside large void cavities. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of composites increases up to 54-60°C due to embedded electrospun nanofibres compared to 50°C for that of epoxy, indicating that fibrous networks may further restrict the intermolecular mobility of matrix in thermal effects.
This is the accepted version of the following article: Dong, Yu and Mosaval, Tariq and Haroosh, Hazim and Umer, Rehan and Takagi, Hitoshi and Lau, Kin-Tak. 2014. The potential use of electrospun polylactic acid nanofibres as alternative reinforcements in an epoxy composite system. Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics. 52 (9): pp. 618-623, which has been published in final form at http://doi.org/10.1002/polb.23467
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