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Isothermal crystallization kinetics and melting behavior of multiwalled carbon nanotubes/polyamide-6 composites



Pristine and functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were used to fabricate polyamide 6 (PA6) composites through melt blending. The functionalized MWNTs were obtained by grafting 1,6-hexamethylenediamine (HMD) onto the pristine MWNTs to improve their compatibility with PA6 matrix. The effect of MWNTs on the isothermal crystallization and melting behavior of PA6 was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The Avrami and Lauritzen–Hoffmann equations are used to describe the isothermal crystallization kinetics. The values of the Avrami exponent found for neat PA6, the pristine MWNTs/PA6 and functionalized MWNTs/PA6 composite samples are about 4.0, 1.7, and 2.3, respectively. The activation energies are determined by the Arrhenius method, which is lower for the composites, −320.52 KJ/mol for pristine MWNTs/PA6 and −293.83 KJ/mol for functionalized MWNTs/PA6, than that for the neat PA6 (−284.71 KJ/mol). The following melting behavior reveals that all the isothermally crystallized samples exhibit triple melting endotherms at lower crystallization temperature and double melting endotherms at higher crystallization temperature. The multiple melting endotherms are mainly caused by the recrystallization of PA6 during heating. The resulting equilibrium melting temperature is lower for the composites than for neat PA6. In addition, polarizing microscopy (PLM) and small angle light scanning (SALS) were used to study the spherulite morphology. The results show that the MWNTs reduce the spherulite radius of PA6. This reduction is more significant for pristine MWNTs. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 2007