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Keywords:

  • carbon nanotubes;
  • nanocomposites;
  • poly (phenylene sulfide);
  • conducting polymers

Abstract

Multiwall carbon nanotube reinforced poly (phenylene sulfide) (PPS) nanocomposites were successfully fabricated through melt compounding. Structural, electrical, thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites were systematically studied as a function of carbon nanotube (CNT) fraction. Electrical conductivity of the polymer was dramatically enhanced at low loading level of the nanotubes; the electrical percolation threshold lay between 1 and 2 wt % of the CNTs. Rheological properties of the PPS nanocomposites also showed a sudden change with the CNT fraction; the percolation threshold was in the range of 0–0.5 wt % of CNTs. The difference in electrical and rheological percolation threshold was mainly due to the different requirements needed in the carbon nanotube network in different stages. The crystallization and melting behavior of CNT-filled PPS nanocomposites were studied with differential scanning calorimetry; no new crystalline form of PPS was observed in the nanocomposites, but the crystallization rate was reduced. The thermal and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites were also investigated, and both of them showed significant increase with CNT fraction. For 5 wt % of CNT-filled PPS composite, the onset of degradation temperature increased by about 13.5°C, the modulus increased by about 33%, and tensile strength increased by about 172%. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009