Positive temperature coefficient of resistivity (PTCR) characteristics of (high density polyethylene) HDPE–Cu composites has been investigated with reference to the conventional HDPE–CB (carbon black) composites. Plot of resistivity against temperature of HDPE–CB composites showed a sudden rise in resistivity (PTC trip) at 127°C, close to the melting temperature of HDPE. However, the PTC trip temperature (98°C) for HDPE–Cu composites was appeared well below the melting temperature of HDPE. Addition of 1 phr nanoclay in the composites resulted in an increase in PTC trip temperature of HDPE–Cu composites, whereas no significant effect of nanoclay on PTC trip temperature was evident in case of HDPE–CB–clay composites. We proposed that the PTC trip temperature in HDPE–Cu composites was governed by the difference in coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of HDPE and Cu. The room temperature resistivity and PTC trip temperature of HDPE–Cu composites were very much stable upon thermal cycling. DMA results showed higher storage modulus of HDPE–Cu composites than the HDPE–CB composites. Thermal stability of HDPE–Cu composites was also improved compared to that of HDPE–CB composites. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010
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