Surface modification and thermal performance of a graphene oxide/novolac epoxy composite
Functionalized graphene oxide (GO) was successfully modified by grafting 1,3,5-triglycidylisocyanurate (TGIC) onto the surface of GO. The modified GO was then added to a novolac epoxy composite at various volume fractions to improve the interfacial compatibility between the filler and matrix. Samples of the modified GO/novolac epoxy composite were fabricated through the hot-pressing method. Microstructural analysis revealed that the modified GO dispersed well in the matrix and formed thermal conductive pathways across the matrix. The thermal degradation temperature of 50% weight loss of the modified GO/novolac epoxy composite was 166 °C higher than that of the novolac epoxy. The data for loss factor tan δ demonstrated that when the composite contained 36.8 wt% of modified GO, the glass transition temperature of the modified GO/novolac epoxy composite was 222 °C, which is 90 °C higher than that of the novolac epoxy. The thermal conductivity of the modified GO/novolac epoxy composite improved from 0.044 W m−1 K−1 to 1.091 W m−1 K−1. Results indicated that the incorporation of surface-modified GO into the novolac epoxy positively affects the thermal conductivity and various properties of the modified GO/novolac epoxy composite.