TiO2/Halloysite hybrid filler reinforced epoxy nanocomposites
TiO2 nanoparticles and Halloysite nanotubes were used together to modify epoxy matrix. They were introduced into the matrix using two different approaches: (a) both TiO2 nanoparticles and Halloysite nanotubes were incorporated into epoxy in their original form; (b) TiO2/Halloysite hybrid prepared by hydrothermal reaction, was incorporated into epoxy. Morphological studies of the nanocomposites were carried out using atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Tensile and nanoindetation studies were carried out to evaluate the mechanical performance of the nanocomposites. Finally, the dynamic mechanical analysis and thermal degradation properties of the nanocomposites were evaluated. It was found that, the nano-structures of HNT surrounded with TiO2 nanotubes in TiO2/Halloysite hybrid filler eliminated the unfavorable agglomeration of TiO2 nanoparticles in the epoxy matrix and thereby avoiding the deterioration of mechanical properties. However, the hybrid nanostructure in the ternary nanocomposites did not have an evident effect on the glass transition temperature and thermal stability of epoxy matrix.
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