Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Tailoring nanocomposite interfaces with graphene to achieve high strength and toughness

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Science Advances  14 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 42, eaba7016
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba7016
  • Fig. 1 Schematic illustration of the synthesis process steps of B4C-NWs@graphene.

  • Fig. 2 Synthesis of nanofillers in dilute water by shear mixing.

    TEM images of (A) B4C-NWs, (B) multilayered graphene, and (C) B4C-NWs@graphene. (D) Chronological digital photos of the suspensions of B4C-NWs, graphene, and B4C-NWs@graphene. Photo credit: Ningning Song, University of Virginia.

  • Fig. 3 Characterization of B4C-NWs@graphene.

    (A) TEM image, (B) XRD pattern, and (C) background-corrected Raman spectrum of B4C-NWs@graphene. (D) HRTEM image, (E) the corresponding FFT, and (F) background-corrected Raman spectrum of the B4C-NWs in B4C-NWs@graphene. (G) HRTEM image, (H) the corresponding FFT, and (I) background-corrected Raman spectrum of the monolayered graphene in B4C-NWs@graphene. a.u., arbitrary units.

  • Fig. 4 Reinforcing effects of B4C-NWs@graphene.

    (A) Flexural stress-strain curves of epoxy and B4C-NWs@graphene (0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 vol %) reinforced composites. (B and C) Scanning electron microscopy images of the fracture surface of 0.2 vol % B4C-NWs@graphene reinforced composite. Comparison of experimentally measured (scatter plot) and theoretically predicted elastic modulus values of (D) B4C-NWs@graphene composites, (E) B4C-NW composites, and (F) graphene composites.

  • Fig. 5 Mechanical performance of B4C-NWs@graphene composites.

    (A and B) Comparison of mechanical properties of 0.3 vol % B4C-NWs@graphene composites with other typical nanofiller reinforced composites [derived from (3044)]. (C) Comparison of flexural strength, elastic modulus, and fracture strain for pure epoxy and B4C-NWs@graphene reinforced composites. (D) Load transfer efficiency versus density chart showing that the B4C-NWs@graphene composite had exceptional interface properties [mechanical properties of 1D nanofiller reinforced composites were derived from (3093)]. CNT, carbon nanotube.

  • Fig. 6 MD simulations of the nanofiller interactions.

    (A) MD snapshots of the initial structure (B4C-NWs@graphene/B4C-NWs@graphene) for calculating the interaction energy. (B) Interaction energy profiles between two nanofillers of the same type (graphene/graphene, B4C-NW/B4C-NW, and B4C-NWs@graphene/B4C-NWs@graphene).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Tailoring nanocomposite interfaces with graphene to achieve high strength and toughness

    Ningning Song, Zan Gao, Xiaodong Li

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