Similar procedures described in [27] were caried out when processing the nanocomposites. Briefly, separate amounts of 1 and 2 wt% of CNCs were initially mixed with the styrene monomer and still fluid polyester/1% butanox. The mixture was then poured into silicone molds with shapes and dimensions defined by the D256 [28] and D3039 [29] ASTM standards for Izod and tensile specimens, respectively. Four specimens were fabricated for each type of test and distinct amounts of CNCs, and they were finally cured at ambient temperature and pressure for 24 h. The nanocomposites presented densification parameters associated with void volume fractions of 5.6, 6.4, and 7.0% for 0 (neat polyester), 1, and 2 wt% CNC, respectively. Figure 2 schematically shows the composite fabrication process.

Schematic fabrication of unsaturated polyester composites reinforced with CNCs.

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