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Atomic force microscopy based quantitative mapping of elastic moduli in phase separated polyurethanes and silica reinforced rubbers across the length scales

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2011

Peter Schön
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, NL-7500, The Netherlands
Kristóf Bagdi
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Plastics and Rubber Technology, Department of Physical Chemistry and Materials Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, P.O. Box 91, H-1521 Budapest, Hungary Institute of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 17, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary
Kinga Molnár
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Plastics and Rubber Technology, Department of Physical Chemistry and Materials Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, P.O. Box 91, H-1521 Budapest, Hungary Institute of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 17, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary
Patrick Markus
Affiliation:
Bruker Nederland B.V., Bruynvisweg 16, 1531 AZ Wormer, The Netherlands
Saurabh Dutta
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, NL-7500, The Netherlands
Morteza Shirazi
Affiliation:
Elastomer Technology and Engineering, Engineering Technology Department, University of Twente, Enschede, 7500 AE, the Netherlands
Jacques Noordermeer
Affiliation:
Elastomer Technology and Engineering, Engineering Technology Department, University of Twente, Enschede, 7500 AE, the Netherlands
Béla Pukánszky
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Plastics and Rubber Technology, Department of Physical Chemistry and Materials Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, P.O. Box 91, H-1521 Budapest, Hungary Institute of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 17, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary
G. Julius Vancso*
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, NL-7500, The Netherlands
*
*Corresponding author: Prof. G. Julius Vancso, Tel: +31-53-4892967, Fax: +31 (0)53 489 3823, E-mail: g.j.vancso@utwente.nl
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Abstract

In the work presented here atomic force microscopy (AFM) based mechanical mapping techniques - HarmoniX imaging and Peak Force Tapping - were applied to determine the surface elastic modulus of phase separated polyurethanes and silica reinforced rubbers across the length scales. Segmented polyether polyurethanes (PUs) were prepared with varying stoichiometric ratio of the isocyanate and hydroxyl groups. The effect of molar mass, as well as the type and number of end-groups on their morphology was investigated. Smooth PU samples for AFM imaging were prepared by ultramicrotonomy. The micro phase separated morphology of the phase separated PUs showed characteristic “fingerprint” AFM phase images. Surface modulus values obtained by AFM were compared to bulk modulus values obtained by tensile testing. The moduli were mapped quantitatively with nanoscale resolution and were in excellent agreement for both AFM modes. Surface mean moduli values do not coincide with bulk values obtained via tensile testing which is attributed to fundamentally different averaging procedures and effects that lead to the respective modulus values obtained via surface and volume averaging. EPDM and SBR rubbers and rubber blends thereof were prepared with varying concentrations of silica nanoparticles and studied in order to investigate the effect of different composition on the resulting morphology (filler distribution) and elastic moduli on a specific rubber or rubber blend sample. Elastic moduli of the rubber and rubber blend samples were first measured by bulk tensile testing. The morphology of the rubber samples was visualized by height and phase imaging. Surface elastic moduli of silica reinforced rubbers and rubber blends were mapped quantitatively and compared with bulk tensile test results. AFM allowed the determination of modulus distributions at the sections imaged. As potential reasons for the observed differences between bulk and surface modulus different averaging procedures like surface and bulk averaging of AFM vs. tensile testing, different filler distributions in SBR and EPDM and the AFM modulus calibration procedures can be named.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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References

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Atomic force microscopy based quantitative mapping of elastic moduli in phase separated polyurethanes and silica reinforced rubbers across the length scales
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