E.J. Petersen, T. Lam, J. Gorham, K. Scott, C. Long, R. Sharma, L.P. Sung, J.A. Liddle, T. Nguyen
National Institute of Standards and Technology, US
nanoparticle release, carbon nanotubes, weathering, standard methods
Nanomaterials can be used as nanofillers to enhance the properties of polymeric materials. However, the effect of weathering on nanocomposites and the potential for nanomaterial release is not yet well known. This stems partly from a lack of a single analytical method to assess these impacts. In this study, multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) epoxy nanocomposite materials at two concentrations (3.5 % and 0.72 %) were exposed to carefully controlled UV doses (equivalent of up to ≈ 4 years in Florida). These samples were analyzed with a suite of optimized gravimetric, spectroscopic, and microscopic techniques. The presence of a MWCNT filler retarded the photodegradation of the nanocomposite samples and multiple techniques showed the accumulation of MWCNTs on the sample surface. These analytical methods will help enable a robust and informative assessment of transformations in polymer nanocomposites subject to environmental stresses.