Mechanical and thermal properties of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes and multiwalled carbon nanotube–polyurethane composites



Multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT)–polyurethane (PU) composites were obtained by an in situ polycondensation approach. The effects of the number of functional groups on the dispersion and mechanical properties were investigated. The results showed that the functionalized MWNTs had more advantages for improving the dispersion and stability in water and N,N′-dimethylformamide. The tensile strength and elongation at break of the composites exhibited obvious increases with the addition of MWNT contents below 1 wt % and then decreases with additions above 1 wt %. The maximum values of the tensile strength and elongation at break increased by 900 and 741%, respectively, at a 1 wt % loading of MWNTs. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements indicated that the addition of MWNTs resulted in an alteration of the glass-transition temperature of the soft-segment phase of MWNT–PU. Additionally, new peaks near 54°C were observed with differential scanning calorimetry because of the microphase-separation structures and alteration of the segment molecular weights of the hard segment and soft segment of PU with the addition of MWNTs. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009