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Study of the functionalization effect of carbonaceous materials for the production of HDPE nanocomposites for aerospace applications

Grant number: 19/23844-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering
Principal Investigator:Luciana de Simone Cividanes Coppio
Grantee:Thais Cardoso de Oliveira
Home Institution: Divisão de Ciências Fundamentais (IEF). Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA). Ministério da Defesa (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


In the aerospace sector, high density polyethylene (HDPE) has been widely used as a barrier to galactic and solar cosmic rays. However, HDPE must be strengthened to achieve adequate mechanical strength for this purpose. Nano-scale reinforcements such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene oxide (GO) can be incorporated into HDPE matrices to improve the mechanical properties of the matrix, especially when functionalized with nonpolar chemical groups. However, it is not yet clear in the literature how these reinforcers can be functionalized and added to the HDPE matrices homogeneously and with good adhesion at the reinforcement/polymer interface. Thus, the objective of this project is to study, following a design of experiments, the influence of different proportions of CNT and GO, both functionalized with alkane chains (octylamine), on the final properties of HDPE-based nanocomposites prepared by mechanic stirring of polymer fused with the reinforcements, and molded by compression. The adhesion properties at the interface and homogeneity, as well as the influence of the reinforcements on the polyethylene crystallization and the final mechanical properties will be studied. Finally, the best samples will be subjected to experimental measurements of gamma radiation transmission to calculate the attenuation coefficients to evaluate their cosmic ray shielding properties. The correlation between this information will allow to better study the CNT/GO/HDPE interaction, besides allowing the optimization of the composite processing to achieve a mechanical reinforcement suitable for the final applications. (AU)