Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Hui, David

Second Advisor

Herrington, Paul

Third Advisor

Mattei, Norma Jean

Fourth Advisor

Kura, Bhaskar

Fifth Advisor

Zhou, Weilie


In this work, fracture, mechanical, and flammability tests, along with a modeling of the stability of nanocomposite columns under fire are presented for nano-filled Diglycidyl Ether of Bisphenol A epoxy. The nanofillers used are montmorillonite nanoclays and carbon nanofibers. Three types of nanocomposites are manufactured: epoxy-clay, epoxy-carbon nanofiber, and epoxy-clay-carbon nanofiber nanocomposites. Fracture tests performed include Izod impact and fracture toughness, for the determination of the net Izod impact strength, the stress intensity factor, and the critical energy release rate. With static mechanical tests the tensile and flexural properties of the nanocomposites are measured. Flammability tests made by cone calorimetry are used to determine the Heat Release Rate, Mass Loss Rate, time to ignition, to Peak of heat Release rate and to flameout, and total smoke and heat released. A mathematical modeling of the stability of columns, made of the same nanocomposites tested, burning continuously in one side is performed. Three configurations are considered: uniform burning along the span, and burning spot at the center and at the corner of the column. The testing and the mathematical modeling reveal the higher mechanical strength and superior flammability properties produced by addition of nanofiller


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