Analysis of Acid Diffusion Effects on Physical Properties of Polymer Composites: A Combined study of Mechanical and Electrical Characterization

Sebastian Tamayo-Vegas*, Khalid Lafdi, Mostapha Tarfaoui, Khalil K. Lafdi, Mohamed Daly

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this study, we examined the impact of carbon nanotube (CNT) concentration on the mechanical properties of epoxy/CNT composites under acid exposure. Samples with varying CNT concentrations (0% to 5%) were fabricated and characterized using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and nanoindentation. Beyond the percolation threshold, the composites experienced decreased bulk mechanical properties due to CNT agglomeration. Acid exposure for one week and one month revealed a gradient of properties from the sample’s skin to its core. Overall, the composites exhibited modified physical properties, with degradation influenced by the CNT concentration. Higher concentrations acted as barriers but also created pathways for acid diffusion through pores surrounding CNT agglomerates. The agreement between nanoindentation and vector network analyzer (VNA) measurements further supported our findings. This convergence of mechanical and electromagnetic characterization techniques holds promise for wireless structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. Our study enhances the understanding of epoxy/CNT composites for SHM applications. The relationship between CNT concentration, acid exposure, and mechanical properties guides material selection and the development of real-time damage-detection techniques. Integrating multiple measurement techniques, as demonstrated by the agreement between nanoindentation and VNA data, provides a comprehensive understanding of structural behavior, improving SHM practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-989
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Mechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2023

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