Fabrication, characterization and microwave properties of polyurethane nanocomposites reinforced with iron oxide and barium titanate nanoparticles

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Polyurethane (PU) nanocomposites reinforced with magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and/or dielectric barium titanate nanoparticles fabricated by the surface-initiated-polymerization approach were investigated. The polymer matrix incorporated with different nanoparticles shows different presenting status surrounding the nanoparticles, i.e., chemical bonding, physical entanglement and bulk polymer chain. The nanoparticles have a different effect on the thermal stability of the polymer nanocomposites. By embedding different functional nanoparticles, unique physical properties were observed, such as enlarged coercivity and larger dielectric constant (real permittivity). The synergistic effect of the binary nanoparticle reinforced PU nanocomposite was explored. The addition of the iron oxide nanoparticles does have some effect on the permittivity. However, little difference was observed in the magnetic properties and permeability after the introduction of the dielectric barium titanate nanoparticle into Fe2O3/PU nanocomposites. The permeability and permittivity of γ-Fe2O3 and BaTiO3 nanoparticle reinforced PU nanocomposites were investigated with frequencies ranging from 10 MHz to 1 GHz. The predicted microwave properties from Bruggeman's equation were consistent with the measured data, except for the real permittivity of Fe2O3/BaTiO3/PU. The volume average method (VAM) usually used for fiber-reinforced composites with reinforcements in the thickness direction was applied in this nanocomposite system. The predicted real permittivity by VAM was found to be in better agreement with the measured data than that predicted by Bruggeman's equation. © 2008 Acta Materialia Inc.

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Acta Materialia

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