Graphite Nanosheet as Low Shrinkage Additive, Curing Accelerator, and Conducting Filler for Unsaturated Polyester Resin
The effect of graphite nanosheets on electrical properties, curing behavior, and polymerization shrinkage of unsaturated polyester resin has been investigated. A solution of polystyrene was used as low profile additive to reduce shrinkage. The results showed that graphite nanosheets have been well dispersed/distributed in the unsaturated polyester matrix where they have high aspect ratio and high surface area. Graphite nanosheet exhibited an accelerating effect on the curing of unsaturated polyester and reduced the polymerization shrinkage as low as 3.6%. Despite large reduction of flexural properties by low profile additive, graphite nanosheet considerably increased the flexural strength and modulus of unsaturated polyester/low profile additive by 47 and 103%, respectively. Therefore, graphite nanosheet can be used as a new low profile additive for unsaturated polyester resins where it is also able to improve mechanical properties and curing rate.