Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Materials Science and Engineering
Michael R. Kessler
This research is divided into two related topics. In the first topic, the synthesis and characterization of novel composite materials reinforced with MWCNTs by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) is reported for two ROMP based monomers: dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and 5-ethylidene-2-norbornene (ENB). Homogeneous dispersion of MWCNTs in the polymer matrices is achieved by grafting norbornene moieties onto the nanotube surface. For the DCPD-based system, the investigation of mechanical properties of the composites shows a remarkable increase of tensile toughness with just 0.4 wt % of functionalized MWCNTs (f-MWCNTs). To our knowledge, this represents the highest toughness enhancement efficiency in thermosetting composites ever reported. DMA results show that there is a general increase of thermal stability (Tg) with the addition of f-MWCNTs, which means that covalently bonded f-MWCNTs can reduce the local chain mobility of the matrix by interfacial interactions. The ENB system also shows significant enhancement of the toughness using just 0.8 wt % f-MWCNTs. These results indicate that the ROMP approach for polyENB is also very effective.
The second topic is an investigation of the biorenewable rubbers synthesized by the tandem ROMP and cationic polymerization. The resin consists of a norbornenyl-modified linseed oil and a norbornene diester. Characterization of the bio-based rubbers includes dynamic mechanical analysis, tensile testing, and thermogravimetric analysis. The experimental results show that there is a decrease in glass transition temperature and slight increase of elongation with increased diester loading.
Jeong, Wonje, "ROMP-based polymer composites and biorenewable rubbers" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10304.