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Modification of epoxy resin properties by adding multi wall carbon nanotubes

Ewelina A. Ciecierska ,  Anna Boczkowska ,  Krzysztof J. Kurzydlowski 

Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering (InMat), Wołoska 141, Warszawa 02-507, Poland


Epoxy resin is the most often used resin in aircraft industry, due to good properties such as low density, low shrinkage during curing process, high mechanical properties, and low absorption of water. The biggest disadvantage of epoxy resin is low electrical conductivity. Carbon nanotubes have high electrical conductivity and high mechanical properties. They have high surface area and even small amount of CNT can significantly change properties of the material. Development of epoxy/nanotubes composites can be meaningful if we think about new application in aircraft like lightning strike protection, electromagnetic interference shielding. Application of conductive nanocomposites will reduce the weight of airplane and in the result will diminish of fuel consumption.

The aim of this work was to obtain epoxy/nanotubes composites with good dispersion of nanofiller and better electrical conductivity. Weight fraction of multi wall carbon nanotubes was varied from 0.05% to 5%. Nanotubes were non-modified with 1.5μm length and 9nm diameter. Nanotubes were dispersed in epoxy resin by three roll mill Exakt machine. Scanning electron microscopy was done for composite microstructure observations. Electrical conductivity was measured by Van der Pauw method. Impact tests were done with Impact Hammer RESIL 5,5 by the Charpy method.

Nanotubes were uniformly dispersed in to epoxy resin. With the increase of MWCNT in epoxy matrix significant increase in electrical conductivity is observed. Impact resistance increases with the increase of MWCNT amount. For higher weight fractions of MWCNTs the decrease of properties is observed. It could be caused by defects which occur in composites with higher weight fraction of nanotubes.


This work has been supported by the European Union in the framework of European Social Fund through the Warsaw University of Technology Development Programme.


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Submitted: 2011-09-01 10:38
Revised:   2011-09-01 10:40