Graphene Oxide Reinforced Bio-Epoxy Polymers
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The majority of epoxy/graphene oxide (GO) composite studies have been conducted on synthetic epoxies. This work presents the results on GO filler loadings of 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 wt. % to a green bio-epoxy polymer. GO was synthesized from oxidation of graphite flakes. The epoxy/GO composites were prepared using a solution mixing route. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to examine the graphite and GO powder morphology and composite fractured surfaces. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to identify functional groups on the produced GO material. Tensile strength of pure and modified bio-epoxy composites was evaluated. SEM showed differences in fractured surfaces which implies the GO material was able to modify the bio-epoxy polymer. The FTIR results confirmed oxidation of the graphite was successful. The tensile strength and modulus improved by 23 % and 35 %, respectively as compared to the pure bio-epoxy with only 0.3 wt. % GO filler. Additions of GO to bio-epoxy revealed a significant enhancement in tensile strength and stiffness could be achieved with considerable lower filler loadings than traditional fillers.