Quantitative image analysis of polymers, plastics and composites is used to monitor and characterize a variety of processes. This paper presents the application of stereology methods to the description of morphological properties of polyurethane(PUR)/multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) composites. Stereological analysis was performed on hard domains of the polyurethane matrix. The images of cut surface have been obtained using high resolution electron microscopy technique and atomic force microscopy. Quantitative analysis of the structure images obtained with that technique allowed us to explain the mechanism the changes of polyurethane nanocomposites properties, as well as allowed us to determine the relationships between the structure characteristics and the properties of examined materials.
Components used for PUR nanocomposites synthesis were: polyester diol (PED) with MW=2000, 4,4'diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI), mixture of chains extenders (DIOL A, DIOL B) and MWNTs. The filler was added to the polyurethane matrix in 0,05 and 0,1% wt. respectively to the whole weight of the polymer. Synthesis was performed in one-shot technique. Polyurethanes composed of PED:MDI:DIOL A: DIOL B with molar ratio 6:9:2:1 were synthesized.
The mechanical and thermal properties of polyurethane nanocomposites were investigated using DSC, DMA and TGA.
The scientific work was financially supported by Polish Committee for Scientific Research in 2005-2008 as research project 3T08A07428.