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Elongational flow mixing for manufacturing of graphite nanoplatelet/polystyrene composites

Authors

  • Henrik Oxfall,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, S-41296 Göteborg, Sweden
    • Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, S-41296 Göteborg, Sweden
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  • Jérôme Rondin,

    1. Group for the Intensification and Intrapolation of Polymer Processes (G2IP), Laboratory of Polymer Engineering for High Technologies (LIPHT), European Engineering School of Chemistry, Polymer, and Material Science (ECPM), University of Strasbourg (UdS), 25 Rue Becquerel, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
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  • Michel Bouquey,

    1. Group for the Intensification and Intrapolation of Polymer Processes (G2IP), Laboratory of Polymer Engineering for High Technologies (LIPHT), European Engineering School of Chemistry, Polymer, and Material Science (ECPM), University of Strasbourg (UdS), 25 Rue Becquerel, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
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  • René Muller,

    1. Group for the Intensification and Intrapolation of Polymer Processes (G2IP), Laboratory of Polymer Engineering for High Technologies (LIPHT), European Engineering School of Chemistry, Polymer, and Material Science (ECPM), University of Strasbourg (UdS), 25 Rue Becquerel, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
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  • Mikael Rigdahl,

    1. Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, S-41296 Göteborg, Sweden
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  • Rodney W. Rychwalski

    1. Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, S-41296 Göteborg, Sweden
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Abstract

Manufacturing strategy is of prime importance for the appropriate incorporation of filler into a polymeric matrix, and this in particular refers to nanofillers. Herein, direct-graphite nanoplatelets are used as filler in polystyrene. The as-received filler material contained microscopic size agglomerates formed by nanoscopic size graphite nanoplatelets. Refining of the microagglomerates (break-up) and production of, desirably, single graphene layers (exfoliation) is the ultimate target for controlling production and thus properties of the present materials. Several processing methods including microcompounding, roll-milling/calendering, Brabender mixing chamber, and solvent processing are used and compared with elongational flow mixing by a newly developed mixer. For the present system, sonication with surfactant assistance solvent processing yields both good micro deagglomeration and production of thin graphene nanostacks/layers. Also the elongational flow mixing efficiently refines the microagglomerates. Solvent processing and microcompounding are more efficient than the other processes in the production of exfoliated thin graphene stacks/layers. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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