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Thermal curing behavior of MWCNT modified vinyl ester-Polyester resin suspensions prepared with 3-roll milling technique
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This study aims to investigate the curing behavior of a vinyl ester-polyester resin suspensions containing 0.3 wt % of multiwalled carbon nanotubes with and without amine functional groups (MWCNTs and MWCNT-NH2). For this purpose, various analytical techniques, including Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Fourier infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman Spectroscopy, and Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) were conducted. The resin suspensions with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared via 3-roll milling technique. DSC measurements showed that resin suspensions containing CNTs exhibited higher heat of cure (Q), besides lower activation energy (Ea) when compared with neat resin. For the sake of simplicity of interpretation, FTIR investigations were performed on neat vinyl ester resin suspensions containing the same amount of CNTs as resin. As a result, the individual fractional conversion rates of styrene and vinyl ester were interestingly found to be altered dependent on MWCNTs and MWCNT-NH2. The findings obtained from RS measurements of the cured samples are highly proportional to those obtained from FTIR measurements. TGA measurements revealed that CNT modified nanocomposites have higher activation energy of degradation (Ed) compared with the cured polymer. The findings obtained revealed that CNTs with and without amine functional groups alter overall thermal curing response of the surrounding matrix resin, which may probably impart distinctive characteristics to mechanical behavior of the corresponding nanocomposites achieved.