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Effectively Exerting the Reinforcement of Dopamine Reduced Graphene Oxide on Epoxy-Based Composites via Strengthened Interfacial Bonding

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journal contribution
posted on 09.05.2016, 00:00 by Wenbin Li, Tinghua Shang, Wengang Yang, Huichuan Yang, Song Lin, Xiaolong Jia, Qing Cai, Xiaoping Yang
The effects of dopamine reduced graphene oxide (pDop-rGO) on the curing activity and mechanical properties of epoxy-based composites were evaluated. Taking advantage of self-polymerization of mussel-inspired dopamine, pDop-rGO was prepared through simultaneous functionalization and reduction of graphene oxide (GO) via polydopamine coating. Benefiting from the universal binding ability of polydopamine, good dispersion of pDop-rGO in epoxy matrix was able to be achieved as the content of pDop-rGO being below 0.2 wt %. Curing kinetics of epoxy composites with pDop-rGO were systematically studied by nonisothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Compared to the systems of neat epoxy or epoxy composites containing GO, epoxy composites loaded with pDop-rGO showed lower activation energy (Eα) over the range of cure (α). It revealed that the amino-bearing pDop-rGO was able to react with epoxy matrix and enhance the curing reactions as an amine-type curing agent. The nature of the interactions at GO-epoxy interface was further evaluated by Raman spectroscopy, confirming the occurrence of chemical bonding. The strengthened interfacial adhesion between pDop-rGO and epoxy matrix thus enhanced the effective stress transfer in the composites. Accordingly, the tensile and flexural properties of EP/pDop-rGO composites were enhanced due to both the well dispersion and strong interfacial bonding of pDop-rGO in epoxy matrix.