Mechanical properties and failure surface morphology of amine-cured epoxy/clay nanocomposites

Hiroaki Miyagawa*, Kit H. Foo, Isaac M. Daniel, Lawrence T. Drzal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The tensile and impact properties of aminecured diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A based nanocomposites reinforced by organomontmorillonite clay nanoplatelets are reported. The sonication processing scheme involved the sonication of the constituent materials in a solvent followed by solvent extraction to generate nanocomposites with homogeneous dispersions of the organoclay nanoplatelets. The microstructure of the clay nanoplatelets in the nanocomposites was observed with transmission electron microscopy, and the clay nanoplatelets were well dispersed and were intercalated and exfoliated. The tensile modulus of epoxy at room temperature, which was above the glass-transition temperature of the nanocomposites, increased approximately 50% with the addition of 10 wt % (6.0 vol %) clay nanoplatelets. The reinforcing effect of the organoclay nanoplatelets was examined with respect to the Tandon-Weng and Halpin-Tsai models. The tensile strength was improved only when 2.5 wt % clay nanoplatelets were added. The Izod impact strength decreased with increasing clay content. The failure surfaces of the nanocomposites were observed with environmental scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The roughness of the failure surface was correlated with the tensile strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005


  • Microstructure
  • Modulus
  • Nanocomposites
  • Organoclay
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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