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Microstructure, elastic and electromagnetic properties of epoxy-graphite composites
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A set of epoxy resin-based composites filled with 0.25 – 2.0 wt.% of commercially available exfoliated graphite (EG) and thick graphene (TG), prepared by suspending EG particles in cyclohexane, and submitting the suspension to a series of grinding and ultrasonic dispersion steps, was produced. The microstructure of such epoxy-graphite composites has been studied by the impulse acoustic microscopy technique. According to acoustic microscopy data, exfoliated graphite microparticles have been well dispersed in the epoxy matrix. TG nanoflakes demonstrated persistent tendency to clustering and formation of agglomerates. The addition of graphite particles in small amount (0.25 – 2.0 wt.%) did not influence the bulk elastic properties of epoxy-graphite composite materials. Being extremely lightweight, 0.003 g cm−3, EG had a lower percolation threshold than TG, at the level of 1-1.5 wt.% against 2.1-3.2 wt.%, respectively. As a result, epoxy composites filled with 1.0-2.0 wt.% EG provided high electromagnetic (EM) interference shielding both at microwave and THz frequencies. In contrast, no significant influence of TG loading was observed at low weight fraction (up to 2 wt.%) on the EM performance of epoxy composites.
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