Assessment of nanoparticles release into the environment during drilling of carbon nanotubes/epoxy and carbon nanofibres/epoxy nanocomposites.
Van Laer, Jo
Faisal, Nadimul Haque
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STAROST, K., FRIJNS, E., VAN LAER, J., FAISAL, N., EGIZABAL, A., ELIZEXTEA, C., BLAZQUEZ, M., NELISSEN, I. and NJUGUNA, J. 2017. Assessment of nanoparticles release into the environment during drilling of carbon nanotubes/epoxy and carbon nanofibres/epoxy nanocomposites. Journal of hazardous materials [online], In Press. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.06.057
The risk assessment, exposure and understanding of the release of embedded carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) from commercial high performance composites during machining processes is yet to be fully evaluated and quantified. In this study, CNTs and CNFs were dispersed in epoxy matrix through calendaring process to form nanocomposites. The automated drilling was carried out in a specially designed drilling chamber that allowed elimination of background noise from the measurements. Emission measurements were taken using condensed particle counter (CPC), scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and DMS50 Fast Particulate Size Spectrometer. In comparison to the neat epoxy, the study results revealed that the nano-filled samples produced an increase of 102% and 227% for the EP/CNF and EP/CNT sample respectively in average particle number concentration emission. The particle mass concentration indicated that the EP/CNT and EP/CNF samples released demands a vital new perspective on CNTs and CNFs embedded within nanocomposite materials to be considered and evaluated for occupational exposure assessment. Importantly, the increased concentration observed at 10 nm aerosol particle sizes measurements strongly suggest that there are independent CNTs being released at this range.