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Impact of injection-molding processing parameters on the electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties of thermoplastic/carbon nanotube nanocomposites

Authors

  • P. F. Rios,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plastics Engineering, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
    2. Israel Plastics and Rubber Center, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
    • Department of Plastics Engineering, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
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  • A. Ophir,

    1. Department of Plastics Engineering, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
    2. Israel Plastics and Rubber Center, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
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  • S. Kenig,

    1. Department of Plastics Engineering, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
    2. Israel Plastics and Rubber Center, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
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  • R. Efrati,

    1. Department of Plastics Engineering, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
    2. Israel Plastics and Rubber Center, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
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  • L. Zonder,

    1. Department of Plastics Engineering, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
    2. Israel Plastics and Rubber Center, 12 Anna Frank Street, Ramat-Gan 52526, Israel
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  • R. Popovitz-Biro

    1. Department of Chemical Research Support, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
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Abstract

Thermoplastic nanocomposites, based on high-density polyethylene, polyamide 6, polyamide 66, poly(butylene terephthalate), or polycarbonate and containing multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), were compounded with either neat CNTs or commercial CNT master batches and injection-molded for the evaluation of their electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. The nanocomposites reached a percolation threshold within CNT concentrations of 2–5 wt %; however, the mechanical properties of the host polymers were affected. For some nanocomposites, better properties were achieved with neat CNTs, whereas for others, master batches were better. Then, polycarbonate and poly(butylene terephthalate), both with a CNT concentration of 3 wt %, were injection-molded with a screening design of experiments (DOE) to evaluate the effects of the processing parameters on the properties of the nanocomposites. Although only a 10-run screening DOE was performed, such effects were clearly observed. The volume resistivity was significantly dependent on the working temperature and varied up to 4 orders of magnitude. Other properties were also dependent on the processing parameters, albeit in a less pronounced fashion. Transmission electron microscopy indicated that conductive samples formed a percolation network, whereas nonconductive samples did not. In conclusion, injection-molding parameters have a significant impact on the properties of polymer/CNT nanocomposites, and these parameters should be optimized to yield the best results. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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