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Effect of graphene nano particles addition on the properties of polyurea

Effect of graphene nano particles addition on the properties of polyurea

Vishanth Uppu

Material Science and Engineering

This research is aimed at improving the properties of polyurea by adding graphene nano particles and use it as a barrier layer in manufacturing a composite tank. The purpose of adding graphene nano particles is to increase the glass transition temperature of the barrier layer allowing the composite tank to hold fluids at cryogenic temperatures and greatly reduce boil off. Graphene nano particles were added in different concentrations to polyurea and thin films were prepared by allowing the mixture to cure in a mold. These samples were then exposed to cryogenic temperatures and characterized using DMA, DSC, XRD, and SEM to study the structure and properties. To assess the gas permeability characteristics of these samples an instrument was designed adhering to the standard test method documented in ASTM D1434-82. The results indicated that the increase in graphene concentration made an increase in the glass transition temperature and decreased the crystal orientation ratio. SEM was used to investigate the micro cracks that developed as a result of exposure to cryogenic temperatures. Our studies found that higher concentrations of nano particles provided better less micro-cracking to the polyurea after being exposed to liquid nitrogen. It has also been observed that the addition of nano particles reduces the permeability of the barrier layer. All these factors contribute to the change in the mechanical and physical properties of polyurea. These property changes provide reduction in micro-cracking, fluid leakage, and overall enhance the barrier layer of the composite tanks.