Polymer composites with small amount of CNTs (< 5 wt%) have been studied as a light-weight wear-resistant material with low friction, among other applications, but their modulus improvement often plateaus or diminishes with increasing CNT fraction due to agglomeration. Here, polymer nanocomposites were fabricated with randomly oriented or aligned CNTs across their volume (up to 5 mm length) by CNT surface diazotization and by static magnetic field application (400 G for 40 min). With the improved CNT dispersion and thus less agglomeration, the reduced moduli of PNCs stayed improved with addition of up to 1 vol% (or 1.3 wt%) of CNTs. In this work, the PNCs with randomly oriented CNTs exhibited higher stiffness than the PNCs with magnetically aligned and assembled CNTs, indicating again the negative effect of CNT agglomeration on stiffness. In future, other CNT structuring methods with controlled inter-CNT contacts will be conducted to dissociate alignment from local agglomeration of CNTs and thus to simultaneously improve hardness and modulus of PNCs with small CNT addition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics