Graphene and its derivatives (graphene oxide, reduced graphene, functionalised graphene oxide, and functionalised reduced graphene oxide) are found to improve the mechanical properties of the polymers in which they are dispersed. In the present work, the potential of graphene and its derivatives in terms of their anti-scratch performance is thus investigated. In particular, graphene oxides, as-is graphene nano-platelets and reduced graphene oxides that were functionalised with amino-propyl triethoxy silane (APTES) were blended as reinforcing phases in UV curable epoxy coatings on polycarbonates, and the resulting performances were comparatively evaluated. Additionally, UV curable epoxy coatings covalently bonded to amino-functionalised silica-nanoparticles were studied.The experimental analyses involved FT-IR spectroscopy to study the chemical interactions that occurred among the different compounds in the investigated mixtures, progressive and constant load scratch tests and SEM images of the residual scratch patterns to evaluate the micro-mechanical response and scratch visibility of the coatings. APTES-functionalised reduced-graphene oxide was found to be able to reduce the scratch visibility, thus revealing its suitability to promote the effective anti-scratch properties of UV-curable bis cyclo-aliphatic epoxy resins deposited on polycarbonate. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Barletta, M., Vesco, S., Puopolo, M., Tagliaferri, V. (2016). Graphene reinforced UV-curable epoxy resins: Design, manufacture and material performance. PROGRESS IN ORGANIC COATINGS, 90, 414-424 [10.1016/j.porgcoat.2015.08.013].