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Challenges to nanomagnetic composite systems
The development of new materials in the context of nanomagnetic composite systems, poses important challenges regarding the type of base materials, the type of fillers, the dispersion process and the manufacturing technology for a given product/application or set of products. The idea has been to explore the possibility of developing a new category of magnetic nanocomposite materials based on magnetic nanofluids MNFs and thermosetting resins as well as to develop epoxy based nanocomposites containing iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) and/or carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to achieve synergistic effects while acquiring better mechanical properties. MNF, also known as Ferro fluids, are ultra-stable colloidal suspensions of ferric/or ferromagnetic particles – e.g. magnetite (Fe3O4) – in various carrier liquids.
An introduction to nanomagnetic materials, particularly MNFs, and their different applications will be made, followed by some of the dispersion mechanisms and effects of nanofillers on composites. Then, an overview of the epoxy, Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 nanocomposites will be made and the calendering process explained. An overview of the nanofluid production, as well as the curing process and the characterization tests (mechanical, DMA, hardness, magnetic permeability, industrial tomography, optical and electronic microscopy, industrial tomography) will be presented. The experimental procedure, the difficulties and the results obtained will be presented.
Some future challenges can be considered such as optimizing the dispersion techniques for each type of fillers, changing the electric conductivity of the nanocomposite by applying a constant magnetic field to the resin during cure and observing the effects on mechanical properties of the composite system, and magnetic heating of the particles to determine if higher temperatures and faster curing can be achieved. With that, a process for composite systems is envisaged “Magnetic Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding” in which cure and orientation properties will be optimized.
Finally, challenges will be presented regarding the development of a sustainable transtibial prosthesis using appropriate technologies and smart orthoses for children.