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Advances in Nano Research   Volume 2, Number 2, June 2014, pages 121-133
Acoustically-enhanced particle dispersion in polystyrene/alumina nanocomposites
Mercy A. Philip, Upendra Natarajan and Ramamurthy Nagarajan

Abstract     [Full Text]
    Polymer nanocomposites are advanced nanomaterials which exhibit dramatic improvements in various mechanical, thermal and barrier properties as compared with the neat polymer. Polystyrene/ alumina nanocomposites were prepared by an ultrasound-assisted solution casting method at filler loadings ranging from 0.2 to 2% and also at different ultrasonic frequencies, viz. 58 kHz, 192/58 kHz, 430 kHz, 470 kHz and 1 MHz. The composites were subjected to mechanical property tests (tensile and impact tests) and cavitation erosion tests to study the enhancement in functional properties. Filler dispersion in the polymer matrix was observed by SEM analysis. The effect of frequency on filler dispersion in the matrix was studied by SEM analysis and functional property enhancement of the composite material. The composites prepared at dual (high/ low) frequency (192/58 kHz) were found to show better property enhancement at low filler loadings as compared with neat polymer and also with composites prepared without ultrasound, thus reinforcing the finding that ultrasound-assisted synthesis is a promising method for the synthesis of nanocomposites.
Key Words
    ultrasound; nanocomposites; dispersion; mechanical properties; cavitation erosion
Mercy A. Philip, Upendra Natarajan and Ramamurthy Nagarajan: Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai-600036, India

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