The incorporation of inorganic nanofillers with organic polymers to create nanocomposites is ever growing.
Nanoparticles are found to enhance the physical properties of the composites. However, these particles may
be released from nanocomposites and cause adverse health and environmental effects. This study investigates
the degradation and potential nanoparticle release of epoxy nanocomposites containing multi-walled carbon nanotubes
(MWCNTs) and nanotitania (TiO2) fillers. Specimens of neat epoxy and the nanocomposites are exposed to two environmental
conditions: 1) alternating 3-hour cycles of UV radiation of 0.68 W/m2 irradiance at 340nm, and 100% relative humidity at
and 2) constant relative humidity of 80% at 50oC. Total exposure time is 700 hours. It has previously been observed that specimens
exposed to constant temperature and humidity have a mass increase due to moisture uptake, and that specimens exposed to UV radiation
and condensation experience mass loss and surface degradation, along with a decrease in mechanical properties. While these effects
should be reconfirmed in this study, chemical tests and microscopy will also be performed to observe the particles being released
and if these particles pose a threat to human health and the environment.