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Rheological analysis of vapor-grown carbon nanofiber-reinforced polyethylene composites

Authors

  • Karen Lozano,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas–Pan American, Edinburg, Texas 78541
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas–Pan American, Edinburg, Texas 78541
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  • Shuying Yang,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas–Pan American, Edinburg, Texas 78541
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  • Qiang Zeng

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas–Pan American, Edinburg, Texas 78541
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005
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Abstract

The melt rheological analysis of high-density polyethylene reinforced with vapor-grown carbon nanofibers (VGCNFs) was performed on an oscillatory rheometer. The influence of frequency, temperature, and nanofiber concentration (up to 30 wt %) on the rheological properties of composites was investigated. Specifically, the viscosity increase is accompanied by an increase in the elastic melt properties, represented by the storage modulus G′, which is much higher than the increase in the loss modulus G″. The composites and pure PE exhibit a typical shear thinning behavior as complex viscosity decreases rapidly with the increase of shearing frequency. The shear thinning behavior is much more pronounced for the composites with high fiber concentration. The rheological threshold value for this system was found to be around 10 wt % of VGCNF. The damping factor was reduced significantly by the inclusion of nanofibers into the matrix. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 93: 155–162, 2004

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