Carbon nanotube - reinforced polymer composites are of great interest due to their desirable mechanical, electrical, and eletromechanical properties. Despite the importance of HDPE in a variety of applications, there seems to be a lack of good understanding of the effect of SWNTs on the crystallization kinetics of HDPE in particular, as well as reported contradictory results on effective physical properties. In this work, composite films of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs) were processed using a solution casting method. Characterization of these composite films was carried out using optical/polarized light microscopy, dynamic mechanical analysis, x-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and dielectric spectroscopy to study the resulting morphology and physical properties. Solution casting proved to be a good processing technique to achieve good dispersion, strong SWNT polymer interaction, and enhanced physical properties. Both non isothermal and isothermal crystallization behaviours were investigated to assess the impact of SWNTs on the crystallization kinetics of HDPE. A 200% improvement in elastic modulus was observed at 0.21 vol% SWNT loading. Improvement in electrical properties were also observed as the nanotube content was increased. A decrease in size of the crystals and an increase in the crystallinity were observed with addition of SWNTs. However, SWNTs did not have an effect on either the crystallization kinetics or the melting and recrystallization temperatures of the composites. The isothermal study showed that the crystallinity of the films could be varied by controlling the cooling rate. Future work will focus on studying the response of these films to an applied electric field.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Nanostructured Polymers and Nanocomposites|
|State||Published - 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics