Tensegrity-inspired nanocomposite structures
Lee, Ji Hoon
MetadataShow full item record
The main goal of this research is to construct hierarchical microstructures from polymer nanocomposites. Specifically, the research focused on constructing tensegrity-inspired microstructure where the nanoparticles are the compression members and the polymer matrix is tensile web. In order to achieve the tensegrity-inpired microstruture, the research was conducted with the following objectives. 1. Synthesis of Hydroxyapatite (HAp) nanoparticles of controlled shapes using block copolymer templates. 2. Investigation of the effects of particle loadings and shapes on isotropic nanocomposite properties. 3. Construction of HAp building blocks into the tensegrity-inspired microstructures First, in order to use the nanoparticles for this structure, needle-shaped HAp nanoparticles were synthesized using block copolymer templates. The results indicated that significant amount of polymer remained on particle surface. Since these particles were coated with polymer blocks, the decorated polymer blocks were considered as the interphase material which would be used to prestress the HAp nanoparticles, and the particles would be acted as the building blocks for constructing tensegrity-inspired microstructure. For nanocomposites, polymer coating on HAp nanoparticles promoted particle dispersion. The effect of particle shapes on thermomechanical properties did not show significant differences between the two particle systems due to their low aspect ratios and chemical similarity. However, the polymer crystallinity and crystallization showed different trend as a function of particle loadings in two particle systems, and the behavior was unified through a common particle spacing of approximately 120 nm. In order to investigate the effect of particle arrangement in the polymer matrix, needle-shaped HAp nanoparticles synthesized with two different block copolymers were mixed with different morphology of polymer matrices and manipulated particle arrangement using the drawing process. Nanocomposites prepared with different matrix morphologies showed the similar dispersion characteristics and reinforcement behavior. The experimental results showed the drawing process influenced the particle arrangement in the polymer matrix, and the particle arrangement and reinforcement behavior were influenced by polymer matrix morphology. The thermomechanical properties of both matrix systems enhanced through the drawing process in the glassy region, but the effect of degree of particle orientation was difficult to distinguish due to low aspect ratios of HAp particles which was not enough to impact on overall microstructure.