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Influence of absorbed water on the dielectric properties and glass-transition temperature of silica-filled epoxy nanocomposites

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4 Author(s)
Zou, C. ; Dept. of Eng., Leicester Univ. ; Fu, M. ; Fothergill, J.C. ; Rowe, S.W.

Work on dielectric spectroscopy of epoxy resin filled with nano-SiO2 at different relative humidities and temperatures is reported. Above the glass-transition temperature (Tg), dc-like imperfect charge transport (QDC or LFD) dominates the low frequency dielectric spectrum. Another mid-frequency relaxation process was found in the non-dried composites. Water also induces glass-transition temperature decreases, which can be measured both by dielectric spectroscopy and DSC. Both theory and experiment demonstrated that a higher water content could exist in nanocomposites than unfilled epoxy suggesting a bigger free volume when nanostructured. In our system, the hydrophilic surface of silica is likely to cause water to surround and lead to delamination of the epoxy from SiO2. This is a potential mechanical and dielectric weakness in the nanocomposites, which may lead to an ageing phenomenon. Hydrophobic surface group may reduce the water adsorption in nanocomposites.

Published in:

Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 2006 IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-18 Oct. 2006

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