W. Yang, N.N. Wang, P. Ping, A.C.Y. Yuen, A. Li, S.E. Zhu, L.L. Wang, J. Wu, T.B.Y. Chen, J.Y. Si, B.D. Rao, H.D. Lu*, Q.N. Chan, G.H. Yeoh
A novel three-dimensional (3D) epoxy/graphene nanosheet/hydroxylated boron nitride (EP/GNS/BNOH) hybrid aerogel was successfully fabricated in this study. This was uniquely achieved by constructing a well-defined and interconnected 3D network architecture. The manufacturing process of EP/GNS/BNOH involved a simple one-pot hydrothermal strategy, followed by the treatment of freeze-drying and high-temperature curing. In comparison with EP/GNS-3, EP/GNS/BNOH-3 demonstrated improvement of 97% for compressive strength at 70% strain. Through compression tests, fracture occurred for EP/GNS-3 at ninth compression cycles, whereas EP/GNS/BNOH-3 retained its original form after twenty compression cycles, with a residual height of 97% (i.e., only 3% reduction). By the addition of BNOH in the polymer matrix, the dynamic heat transfer and dissipation rates of EP/GNS/BNOH aerogels were also considerably reduced, indicating that the aerogel with BNOH additive possessed excellent thermal insulation properties. Thermogravimetric analysis results revealed that the thermal stabilities of EP/GNS and EP/GNS/BNOH aerogels were improved with increasing loading of EP, and EP/GNS/BNOH aerogels exhibited a better thermal stability at high temperatures. Through the elevated levels attained in the compressive strength, superelasticity, and thermal resistance, EP/GNS/BNOH aerogels has the great potential of being a very effective thermal insulation material to be utilized across a board range of applications in building, automotive, spacecraft, and mechanical systems.