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Nanocomposites: Manufacturing, Microstructural Characterization and Mechanical Testing

PETAR DOTCHEV, SEYED HAMID REZA SANEI, ERIC STEINMETZ, JASON WILLIAMS

Abstract


Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) offer exceptional thermal, electrical and mechanical properties. While an increase in thermal and electrical conductivity can be readily achieved by addition of CNT to a polymer base, the subsequent effect on mechanical properties must be investigated. In this study, nanocomposite samples were manufactured using injection molding process. Multiwall Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT) masterbatch with 15 wt.% MWCNT concentrations were diluted with PA 6/6 pellets to create five different CNT concentration ranging from 3 wt.% in 3 wt.% increments. The neat polymer sample was also manufactured as a control specimen. Mechanical properties such as Young’s modulus, Tensile strength and elongations were determined to see the effect of CNT content on overall properties. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images were used to evaluate the uniform distribution of CNT in the polymer phase. The results showed that the stiffness increased as the CNT content increased, however, the increase in strength reached a threshold value around 6 wt.% beyond which the strength decreased. It was observed that the elongation decreased significantly by addition of CNT into the polymer. The elongation dropped from an average of 190% for the neat sample to 5% for 15 wt.% CNT content sample. Such decrease in elongation might render the polymer unsuitable for the application it has been designed for. The findings of this study show that improving thermal and electrical properties of polymers does not come without a sacrifice on mechanical properties.


DOI
10.12783/asc33/26060

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