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MWNT-filled PC/ABS blends: Correlation of morphology with rheological and electrical response



A systematic study was done on morphological, electrical and rheological behavior of co-continuous or dispersed-type polycarbonate (PC)/acrylonitrile-styrene-butadiene (ABS) blends, containing different amounts of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT). The MWNTs gave substantial electrical conductivities to these nanocomposites at very low concentrations, owing to the effective melt processing method. Because of selective localization of MWNTs in the PC phase, along with double percolation phenomenon, the blend with co-continuous morphology showed a lower electrical and rheological percolation threshold, higher melt viscosity and elasticity, as compared to the system with dispersed morphology. The morphology of both the blend systems was refined as a result of MWNTs incorporation but the morphology type remained unchanged. A typical role of compatibilizer in refining blend morphology was observed in both the systems. The electrical conductivity of the system filled with MWNTs in presence of compatibilizer, was lower than the systems filled with MWNTs only, which was attributed to role of compatibilizer in directing a part of MWNTs from PC matrix toward ABS phase. With increasing compatibilizer/MWNTs ratio, the influence of compatibilizer on morphology refinement and conductivity reduction was intensified. By comparing TEM micrograph of PC/SAN/MWNTs with that of PC/ABS/MWNTs, it was revealed that small portion of MWNTs was also located on polybutadiene rubber fraction of ABS. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 739-748, 2013