Synthesis of hybrid ZnO/CNTs nanoparticles and their reinforcement in nylon-6 polymer fibers



In this investigation, in situ synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles in the presence of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been carried out using a sonochemical technique. Zinc(II)acetate was used as a source of ZnO in the presence of ethylene glycol (EG) to obtain zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. The synthesized hybrid ZnO/CNTs nanoparticles were used as reinforcements to enhance the mechanical, thermal and UV absorbing properties of Nylon-6 composite fibers. The polymer nanocomposites (PNC) were fabricated by dry mixing Nylon-6 polymer powder with the ZnO/CNTs hybrid nanoparticles as the first step, then followed by the drying and melt extrusion process of fiber materials in a single-screw extruder. The extruded fibers were stretched and stabilized using a godet set-up and wound on a Wayne filament winder machine. The hybrid ZnO/CNTs infused Nylon-6 composite fibers were compared with commercial ZnO, CNTs infused Nylon-6 composite fibers and neat Nylon-6 fibers for their structural and thermal properties. The morphological characteristics of ZnO/CNTs nanoparticles were carried out using X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. The Nylon-6 PNC fibers which were of ∼80 μ size were tested mechanically. The tensile tests revealed that failure stress of the 1% infused ZnO/CNTs Nylon-6 PNC fibers is about 73% higher than the neat extruded Nylon-6 fiber and the improvement in the tensile modulus is 377.4%. The DSC results show an increase in the glass transition temperature and crystallization for ZnO/CNTs infused Nylon-6 PNC fibers. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013