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Influence of nanoclays on electrical and morphological properties of thermoplastic polyurethane/multiwalled carbon nanotube/clay nanocomposites



Nanocomposites of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs), multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and clays were prepared via melt processing using polyether- and polyester-based TPUs, MWCNTs, and organically modified nanoclays (Cloisite C30B and C25A). Coaddition of clays and MWCNTs to TPU nanocomposites increased their electrical conductivities above those without any clay. Nanoclay alone is shown to produce no effect on electrical conductivity. TEM results show that the coaddition of nanoclay affects the nanocomposite morphology by changing the MWCNT distribution. Clay C25A and MWCNTs were observed to form network structures in the nanocomposites, resulting in improved electrical conduction. Interaction between MWCNTs and clays as well as an increase in nanocomposite viscosity caused by the coaddition of clays may influence the morphology change. Most of the nanocomposites containing both MWCNTs and clay exhibited higher dielectric constants, indicating higher electrical conductivities. Tensile properties investigations confirmed the reinforcing effects of the MWCNTs and clays. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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