Nanoparticles as strengthening agents in polymer systems
Barron, Andrew R.
Doctor of Philosophy
Carboxylate-substituted alumina nanoparticles are produced solvent free using mechanical shear. The general nature of this method has been demonstrated for L-lysine-, stearate, and p-hydroxybenzoate-derived materials. The reaction rate and particle size is controlled by a combination of temperature and shear rate. The nanoparticles are spectroscopically equivalent to those reported from aqueous syntheses, however, the average particle size can be decreased and the particle size distribution narrowed depending on the reaction conditions. Lysine and p-hydroxybenzoato alumoxanes have been introduced in carbon fiber reinforced epoxide resin composites. Different preparation conditions have been studied to obtain composite with enhanced performances that are ideal for the motor sports and aerospace industries. A new composite material has been fabricated utilizing surface-modified carboxylate alumoxane nanoparticles and the biodegradable polymer poly(propylene fumarate)/poly(propylene fumarate)-diacrylate (PPF/PPF-DA). For this study, composites were prepared using various functional groups including: a surfactant alumoxane to enhance nanoparticle dispersion into the polymer; an activated-alumoxane to enhance nanoparticle interaction with the polymer matrix; a mixed alumoxane containing both activated and surfactant groups. Nanocomposites prepared with all types of alumoxane, as well as blank polymer resin and unmodified boehmite, underwent mechanical testing and were characterized by SEM and microprobe analysis. A nanocomposite composed of mixed alumoxane nanoparticles dispersed in PPF/PPF-DA exhibited increased flexural modulus compared to polymer resin alone, and a significant enhancement over both the activated and surfacted alumoxanes. Boric acid is used as the cross-linking agent in oil well drilling industry even though the efficacy of the borate ion, [B(OH)4]- , as a cross-linking agent is poor. The reaction product of boric acid and the polysaccharide guaran (the major component of guar gum) has been investigated by 11B NMR spectroscopy. By comparison with the 11B NMR of boric acid and phenyl boronic acid complexes of 1,2-diols [HOCMe2CMe2OH, cis-C6H 10(OH)2, trans-C6H10(OH) 2, o-C6H4(OH)2], 1,3-diols (neol-H2), monosaccharides (L-fucose, mannose and galactose) and disaccharides (celloboise and sucrose) it is found that the guaran polymer is cross-linked via a borate complex of two 1,2-diols both forming chelate 5-membered ring cycles, this contrasts with previous proposals. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Inorganic chemistry; Polymer chemistry; Engineering; Materials science