Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Polymer reinforcement using liquid-exfoliated boron nitride nanosheets

Author affiliations

Abstract

We have exfoliated hexagonal boron nitride by ultrasonication in solutions of polyvinylalcohol in water. The resultant nanosheets are sterically stabilised by adsorbed polymer chains. Centrifugation-based size-selection was used to give dispersions of nanosheets with aspect ratio (length/thickness) of ∼1400. Such dispersions can be used to produce polyvinylalcohol–BN composite films. Helium ion microscopy of fracture surfaces shows the nanosheets to be well dispersed and the composites to fail by pull-out. We find both modulus, Y, and strength, σB, of these composites to increase linearly with volume fraction, Vf, up to Vf ∼ 0.1 vol% BN before falling off. The rates of increase are extremely high; dY/dVf = 670 GPa and dσB/dVf = 47 GPa. The former value matches theory based on continuum mechanics while the latter value is consistent with remarkably high polymer–filler interfacial strength. However, because the mechanical properties increase over such a narrow volume fraction range, the maximum values of both modulus and strength are only ∼40% higher than the pure polymer. This phenomenon has also been observed for graphene-filled composites and represents a serious hurdle to the production of high performance polymernanosheet composites.

Graphical abstract: Polymer reinforcement using liquid-exfoliated boron nitride nanosheets

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 05 Oct 2012, accepted on 15 Nov 2012 and first published on 19 Nov 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR33049K
Nanoscale, 2013,5, 581-587

  •   Request permissions

    Polymer reinforcement using liquid-exfoliated boron nitride nanosheets

    U. Khan, P. May, A. O'Neill, A. P. Bell, E. Boussac, A. Martin, J. Semple and J. N. Coleman, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 581
    DOI: 10.1039/C2NR33049K

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements