Flexural Properties of Functionally Graded Polymer Alumina Nanoparticles
In this paper, a functionally graded polymer nanocomposite (FGPNC) was arranged via mixing the Alumina (Al2O3) nanoparticles (50 – 100 nm) with an epoxy matrix through five layers of 1.2 mm thickness for each layer using hand lay–up technique. Different volume fractions were taken (0, 1, 2, 3 and 4) % of the used nanoparticles and were cast in molds made from acrylic for creating the graded composite sheet in the thickness direction. The prepared isotropic specimen was tested by tensile and compressive test. The results showed that the (4% Vf of Al2O3) has the best enhancement of the ultimate tensile strength (85.25% from neat epoxy) and decreased thereafter. Flexural properties of three different types of functionally graded materials (FGMs), including FGM1, FGM2 and FGM3, isotropic nanocomposite (2% Al2O3) and pristine epoxy were obtained. Flexural strength and flexural modulus of the functionally graded polymer nanocomposite for each type of FGMs enhanced by (51.7%) and (67%), respectively for the FGM1 loaded from the neat epoxy side, whereas for the FGM1 loaded from the (4%) side, the improvement in these properties was (17.8%) and (29.4%), correspondingly over those for the neat epoxy. For FGM2, the improvement in the flexural strength was (27%) and (71.8%) for the flexural modulus as compared with pristine epoxy. The enhancement in the flexural strength of FGM3 was (27%) and flexural modulus (57.7%). Design Modeler (ANSYS Workbench) was used to verify the experimental flexural test results. A very good agreement was found between the experimental and numerical results with a maximum error of (3.92%) in the flexural modulus for FGM1 loaded from the composite side.
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