SEM images of fracture surface of composite samples with 0.2 wt% graphene: (a and b) pristine graphene/epoxy, poor adhesion; (c and d) Triton-graphene/epoxy, good adhesion. Reproduced by permission from Ref. [62]. Copyright© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
SEM images of fracture surface of composite samples with 0.2 wt% graphene: (a and b) pristine graphene/epoxy, poor adhesion; (c and d) Triton-graphene/epoxy, good adhesion. Reproduced by permission from Ref. [62]. Copyright© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

With the emergence of scientific interest in graphene oxide (GO) in recent times, researchers have endeavored to incorporate GO in thermoset polymeric matrix to develop composites with extraordinary set of properties. The current state of research in graphene/thermoset polymer composites is highlighted here with a focus on the role of interface in dictating the overall properties of the composites. Different strategies like covalent and non-covalent functionalization of GO have been discussed with respect to improvement in mechanical, electrical, thermal and rheological properties. In addition, future prospects have been outlined. By assessing the current state of research in graphene/thermoset composites, it is obvious that graphene derivatives are promising materials in enhancing the structural properties of the nanocomposites at extremely low levels of filler loading. This opens new avenues in designing lightweight composites for myriad applications and by tailoring the interfacial adhesion with the polymer, ordered structure can be achieved at macroscopic processing scales.

This paper was originally published in Polymer Journal 70 (2015), Pages A17–A34

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