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Polyethylene/grafted polyethylene/graphite nanocomposites: Preparation, structure, and electrical properties

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Abstract

Polyethylene (PE)/maleic anhydride grafted PE (g-PE)/expanded graphite (EG) electrically conductive nanocomposites were successfully prepared by solution intercalation (SI) and masterbatch melt mixing (MMM). Electrical conductivity (σ) measurements; transmission electron, scanning electron, and optical miscroscopy observations; and differential scanning calorimetry analyses were employed to examine the influences of the preparation methods, EG volume or weight fractions (ϕ or fw), and g-PE weight contents (Cg) on the structure and σ of the nanocomposites, as compared to PE/g-PE/EG composites and PE/EG control produced by direct melt mixing (DMM). The percolation thresholds (ϕc) of the SI, MMM, and DMM composites (Cg/fw = 1.5) and the DMM control were measured and found to be 2.19, 3.81, 4.68, and 5.35%, respectively. As the Cg/fw increases from 1 to 4, the σ of the MMM and DMM composites with fw = 9% rises from the order of 10−16 to 10−4 and 10−8 S/cm, respectively. These were closely associated with the morphology and microstructure of the composites varying with the preparation methods (ϕ and Cg/fw) and could also be interpreted in terms of percolation theory. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 97: 51–59, 2005

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