Electrical conductivity of vapor-grown carbon nanofiber/polyester textile-based composites


Correspondence to: S. S. Najar (E-mail: saeed@aut.ac.ir)


The main objective of this study was to investigate the capability of vapor-grown carbon nanofibers (VGCNFs) to improve the electrical conductivity of textile-based composites. A combination of mechanical stirring and ultrasonication was used to disperse VGCNFs at various weight fractions (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 wt %). Textile-based composites were fabricated with a hand-layup method with the application of three fabric types, including carbon, Kevlar, and polyester fabrics. The electrical conductivity of the samples was measured with a four-point probe method, and morphological analysis was performed with field emission scanning electron microscopy. The electrical conductivity of the composite samples was investigated from the standpoint of the VGCNFs' weight fraction, fabric type, cure process temperature. and sonication time. We found that with increasing VGCNF weight fraction, the conductivity increased. Also, the optimum conductivity was obtained at a sonication time of about 2 h. A higher conductivity was observed in the carbon fabric-based composites than in the Kevlar- and polyester-fabric-based composites. Nevertheless, there was no significant difference among the electrical conductivities of the VGCNF/polyester-textile-based composites prepared at room temperature and 60°C. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 3009–3017, 2013