Effects of moisture absorption on the dielectric properties of nanoclay-reinforced epoxy for radome applications

Carla Garcia, Joshua Cohn, Christine Chesley, Landon R Grace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The relative permittivity and loss tangent at 10 GHz of a nanoclay-reinforced epoxy is investigated as a function of nanoclay loading percentage and moisture content. The energy dissipation associated with frictional and inertial losses during the reorientation of absorbed dipole water molecules exposed to an oscillating electromagnetic field has a significant impact on the relative permittivity and loss tangent of moisturecontaminated polymer materials. This can damage the performance of polymer-based radar-protecting structures (radomes) designed to protect sensitive radar equipment. Thus, prevention or minimization of water absorption in these materials is critical to mitigating this effect. The moisture barrier properties of nanoclay reinforcement are well known, and are targeted in this study as a potential method to reduce the moisture absorption rate and therefore improve the performance of polymer-based radomes exposed to precipitation and humid air. The ability of a water molecule to rotate freely in the presence of an EM field is dependent on its physical and chemical state; whether it be bound and unable to rotate, or unbound and able to dissipate energy through unrestricted rotation. Therefore, any potential dielectric property changes associated with the physical and chemical interaction of water and nanoclay must be quantified prior to exploiting prospective moisture-barrier benefits. In this study, the relative permittivity and loss tangent of an epoxy system reinforced with nanoclay up to 5% content by weight are assessed using a resonant cavity technique at 10 GHz during moisture uptake due to immersion in distilled water at 25°C. Variations in moisture diffusion behavior are observed due to the nanoclay loading percentage. Although deviations in the dielectric properties due solely to nanoclay loading percentage are minimal, effects due to moisture absorption are much more prominent. In the most extreme case, a nearly 15% increase in relative permittivity is observed at 5% moisture content by weight, with a direct correlation between diffusion behavior and degradation of relative permittivity observed for all samples. Likewise, an increase in the loss tangent of approximately 220% is observed at 5% moisture content by weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
EventASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2014 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Nov 14 2014Nov 20 2014

Other

OtherASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2014
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period11/14/1411/20/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Garcia, C., Cohn, J., Chesley, C., & Grace, L. R. (2014). Effects of moisture absorption on the dielectric properties of nanoclay-reinforced epoxy for radome applications. In ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE) (Vol. 9). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2014-38815