Electrospinning of polymers has gained surging interest in the last decades due to its wide range of applications in different fields, such as sensors, electronic devices, separation systems, biomedical materials. Still there are only few reports on the use of these nanofibers as reinforcement in polymer composites. In this paper, solution electrospinning was employed to produce nanofibrous mats impregnating two epoxy resins to form “monolayer“ systems, with the aim to study the influence of the nanofibers on both the curing behaviour and the morphology of the resin systems. Three polymers were chosen for producing electrospun mats, a polysulfone (PSF), a polyamide Nylon 6,6 (Ny66) and a polyacrilonitrile (PAN). The nanofibrous mats were employed to produce mat/epoxy monolayers by soaking the mat in two different epoxy resin systems, one in lab-synthesized-high performance, and the other commercial-low performance.
The results show a different extent of swelling of the electronspun mats, as derived by morphological analysis. The observation of the fractured surfaces also indicates the formation of several fracture planes or phase separation phenomena, suggesting the possibility of dissipation of fracture energy by the epoxy/mat nanocomposites. Additionally, for all resin/mat arrangements, thermal analysis indicates no significant interference of the mat with the cure reactions of the resins and only slight changes of the glass transition temperatures.