• elongational flow;
  • MW-carbon nanotubes;
  • mechanical properties;
  • SEM;
  • TEM


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been attracting increasing interest for the fabrication of polymer-based nanocomposites because of their excellent properties. Traditional methods for the preparation of polymer/CNTs nanocomposites are in situ polymerization, solution blending, and melt mixing. The achievement of a good CNT dispersion and a percolation network is important in order to obtain better mechanical and electrical properties. However, the rheological behavior of polymer/CNTs systems, in particular regarding the extensional flow, has not been much investigated so far. In this work we present, for the first time, rheological data in non-isothermal extensional flow and an investigation on the effect of the extensional flow upon the final properties of several polymer/CNTs systems was carried out as well. Extensional flow led to higher mechanical properties and higher melt strength, but only a slightly reduced breaking stretching ratio. This result could be particularly interesting in the view of potential industrial applications such as film blowing and spinning. Morphological analyses also showed higher degrees of dispersion and variation in the CNTs final dimensions. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.