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Abstract

Adding conductive carbon fillers to thermoplastic polymers increases the resulting composite's electrical conductivity. Carbon black (CB) is very effective at increasing composite electrical conductivity at low loading levels. In this study, varying amounts (2 to 10 wt %) CB were added to polycarbonate (PC) and the resulting composites were tested for electrical conductivity (1/electrical resistivity), thermal conductivity, and tensile and flexural properties. These results were compared with prior work done for carbon nanotubes (CNT) in polycarbonate. The percolation threshold was ∼ 2.3 vol % CB compared to between 0.7 and 1.4 vol % CNT. At 8 wt % filler, the CNT/PC composite had an electrical resistivity of 8 ohm-cm compared to 122 ohm-cm for the CB/PC composite. The addition of CB to polycarbonate increased the composite electrical and thermal conductivity and tensile and flexural modulus. The 8 wt % (5.5 vol %) CB in polycarbonate composite had a good combination of properties for semiconductive applications. Ductile tensile behavior is noted in pure polycarbonate and in samples containing up to 8 wt % CB. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011