Article Title

Influence of graphene nanoplatelets on mechanical properties and adhesive wear performance of epoxy-based composites


graphene nanoplatelets, epoxy, adhesive wear, solid lubricants


Epoxy resin is one of the most widely used thermoset polymers in high-performance composite materials for lightweight applications. However, epoxy has a high coefficient of friction, which limits its tribological applications. In this study, the effect was investigated of different weight fractions of solid lubricant graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs), ranging from 0 to 4.5 wt%, on mechanical and adhesive wear performance of epoxy. Adhesive wear tests covered mild and severe wear regimes. The correlation of tribological and mechanical properties was studied as well. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe the failure mechanisms for both tribological and mechanical samples after each test. The results revealed that the addition of GNPs to the epoxy improved its stiffness and hardness but reduced its fracture strength and toughness. Adhesive wear performance exhibited high efficiency with GNP additions and showed reductions in the specific wear rate, the coefficient of friction, and the induced interface temperature by 76%, 37%, and 22%, respectively. A fatigue wear mechanism was predominant as the applied load increased. Most importantly, severe wear signs occurred when the interface temperature reached the heat distortion temperature of the epoxy. The tribological, and mechanical properties showed only a weak correlation to each other. The addition of GNPs to epoxy by less than 4.5 wt% was highly efficient to improve the wear performance while maintaining the fracture strength and toughness. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis shows no chemical interaction between the epoxy matrix with GNPs, which implies its physical interaction.


Tsinghua University Press