A study on mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of graphene nanoplatelets reinforced epoxy composites

  • Wentao Zou

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


Graphene is a material that has superior mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. It has drawn the attention of many the scientific researchers for this purpose. In this project, three different types of fillers, graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs)-, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)-, and expanded graphite (EG)-reinforced epoxy nanocomposites were prepared by shear mixing. Different shear mixing speeds and shear mixing times were used during the preparation of the nanocomposites with 0.1 wt% loading of the fillers. The effects of various types of fillers and different shear mixing speeds and durations on mechanical and electrical properties of the final composites were examined. The GNPs-reinforced epoxy nanocomposite was the only one that showed a 13% improvement in elastic modulus as compared to pure epoxy when the shear mixing conditions were 3000 rpm for 2 hours.The project also studied the effects of different loadings of GNPs and the addition of acetone as a solvent on the final mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of the composites (with the fixed shear mixing speed and time). The tensile strength of the composites reduced drastically when the loading of GNPs increased while the elastic modulus show some increase with the growth in GNP loading. The GNPs-reinforced composites did not show the percolation threshold even with 5 wt% (with the ratio to the weight of epoxy) loading of the GNPs. The GNPs-reinforced epoxy composites showed an 116% improvement in the thermal conductivity as compared to the pure epoxy samples when the GNPs loading was 5 wt%. The results also showed that the samples prepared with the addition of acetone had higher thermal diffusivity than the samples prepared without acetone.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAravind Vijayaraghavan (Supervisor) & Michael Turner (Supervisor)


  • Graphene nanoplatelets
  • Epoxy composites

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