Infrared (IR) thermography is a non-contact method of measuring temperature that analyzes the infrared radiation emitted by an object. Properties of polymer composites are heavily influenced by the filler material, filler size, and filler dispersion, and thus thermographic analysis can be a useful tool to determine the curing and filler dispersion. In this study, we investigated the curing mechanisms of polymer composites at the microscale by capturing real-time temperature using an IR Thermal Camera. Silicone polymers with fillers of Graphene, Graphite powder, Graphite flake, and Molybdenum disulfide (MoS 2) were subsequently poured into a customized 3D printed mold for thermography. The nanocomposites were microscopically heated with a Nichrome resistance wire, and real-time surface temperatures were measured using different Softwares. This infrared thermal camera divides the target area into 640x480 pixels, allowing measurement and analysis of the sample with a resolution of 65 micrometers. Depending on the filler material, the temperature rises to a certain maximum point before curing, and once curing is complete, polymer composites exhibit a rapid temperature change indicating a transition from viscous fluid to solid. MoS 2 , Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) without filler, and PDMS with larger filler are ranked in order of maximum constant temperature. PDMS (without filler) cures in 500s, while PDMS-Graphene and PDMS Graphite Powder cure in about 800s. The curing time for PDMS Graphite flake is slightly longer (950s), while MoS 2 is around 520s. Therefore, this technique can indicate the influence of fillers on the curing of composites at the microscale, which is difficult to achieve by conventional methods such as differential scanning calorimetry. This nondestructive, low-cost, fast infrared thermography can be used to analyze the properties of polymer composites with different fillers and dispersion qualities in a variety of applications including precision additive manufacturing and quality control of curable composite inks.
Rahman, Md Ashiqur, Javier Becerril, Dipannita Ghosh, and Nazmul Islam. 2022. “Non-Destructive Infrared Thermographic Curing Analysis of Polymer Composites.” In Proceedings of the ASME 2022 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Columbus, OH: ASME.
Proceedings of the ASME 2022 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition