Nano-indentation studies on polymer matrix composites reinforced by few-layer graphene

Nanotechnology. 2009 Mar 25;20(12):125705. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/20/12/125705. Epub 2009 Mar 4.


The mechanical properties of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-matrix composites reinforced by functionalized few-layer graphene (FG) have been evaluated using the nano-indentation technique. A significant increase in both the elastic modulus and hardness is observed with the addition of 0.6 wt% of graphene. The crystallinity of PVA also increases with the addition of FG. This and the good mechanical interaction between the polymer and the FG, which provides better load transfer between the matrix and the fiber, are suggested to be responsible for the observed improvement in mechanical properties of the polymers.