Preparation and Characterization of Linear Low Density Polyethylene/Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites
Journal of macromolecular science. Physics
Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)/multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) nanocomposites were prepared via melt blending. The morphology and degree of dispersion of nanotubes in the polyethylene matrix were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Both individual and agglomerates of MWNTs were evident. The rheological behavior and mechanical and electrical properties of the nanocomposites were studied using a capillary rheometer, tensile tester, and Tera ohm-meter, respectively.
... ter, respectively. Both polyethylene and its nanocomposites showed non-Newtonian behavior in almost the whole range of shear rate. Addition of carbon nanotubes increased shear stress and shear viscosity. It was also found that the materials experience a fluid-solid transition below 1 wt% MWNT. Flow activation energy for the nanocomposites was calculated using an Arrhenius type equation. With increasing nanotube content, the activation energy of flow increases. A decrease of about 7 orders of magnitude was obtained in surface and volume resistivity upon addition of 5 wt% MWNT. In addition, a difference between electrical and rheological percolation thresholds was observed. The results confirm the expected nucleant effect of nanotubes on the crystallization process of polyethylene. A slight increase in Young's modulus was also observed with increasing MWNT content.