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Keywords:

  • Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs);
  • extrusion;
  • injection molding

Abstract

Microstructural characterization of corn starch-based porous thermoplastic (TPS) composites containing various contents (0.1, 0.5, and 1 wt %) of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was performed. Corn starch was plasticized with a proper combination of glycerol and stearic acid. TPS composites with MWCNT were prepared conducting melt extrusion followed by injection molding. TPS containing 1 wt % of MWCNTs exhibited higher tensile strength and elastic modulus values than neat TPS. Moreover, TPS electrical conductivity was determined to increase with increasing content of MWCNTs. X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that incorporation of MWCNTs increased the degree of TPS crsystallinity to some extent. Scanning electron microscopy examination revealed that MWCNT altered TPS surface morphology and tensile failure modes, significantly. Transmission electron microscopy investigation showed that dispersion characteristics of MWCNTs within TPS were in the form of tiny clusters around micro pores of TPS, which is considered influential on electrical conductivity of the resulting composites. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013