The efficient and even dispersion of nanoparticles in the fabrication of polymer nanocomposite is considered an industry-wide challenge. The dispersion quality in these systems is paramount to achieving a material with effective properties, but the ability to quantify these dispersions at the macroscopic level is an arduous task. Now, a team of Researchers from the University of Manchester, UK, have developed a quantitative dispersion characterization method, which utilizes non-contact infrared thermography mapping techniques to measure the thermal diffusivity of a graphene nanocomposite and its corresponding dispersion index.
Current ‘gold standard’ methods to measure a dispersion rely on qualitative transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), but is often cumbersome and struggles to quantify the dispersion at the macroscopic level, and is restricted to small samples.
The development of a new method and model to quantify a dispersion is a difficult task and one that needs to take into acoount many considerations. Any method to study the dispersion, at the very least, requires the systematic study of the loading, particle size, agglomeration and interfacial interactions within the nanocomposite.
The Manchester-based Researchers have employed an infrared thermography diffusivity measurement and mapping method on a nanocomposite composed of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) and a polymer matrix consisting of a low-viscosity bisphenol-A epoxy resin and a cycloaliphatic polyamine curing agent, which were sheared mixed together (SilverSon L5MPA).
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Source: AZO NANO