Epoxy resins are often used as coating materials and adhesives because of their adjustable properties. One disadvantage in use as coatings is that epoxy resins can adsorb water. Nanoparticles as fillers in the epoxy matrix are used to improve the barrier performance and mechanical properties of these coatings. These nano-sized fillers are preferred to micro-sized particles because of their high surface area which allows using less material compared to micro-sized fillers. Another benefit of using nanoparticles is the easy incorporation in the epoxy network.
Epoxy resins based on bisphenol A diglycidyl ether with various amounts of nanoparticles were cured isothermally to complete hardening with
diethyltoluenediamine. Zinc oxide and copper nanoparticles with a particle size smaller than 100 nm were used. Specimens were prepared as thin films by spin coating and as bulk samples. Both, the phase morphology and the nanomechanical properties of the specimen were examined with atomic force microscopy (AFM). Furthermore, the tendency of agglomerate formation was investigated.