Effect of microfiber reinforcement on the morphology, electrical, and mechanical properties of the polyethylene/poly(ethylene terephthalate)/carbon nanotube composites

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Abstract

In situ microfiber reinforced conductive polymer composites consisting of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), and multiwalled carbon nanotube (CNT) were prepared in a twin screw extruder followed by hot stretching of PET/CNT phase in HDPE matrix. For comparison purposes, the HDPE/PET blends and HDPE/PET/CNT composites were also produced without hot stretching. Extrusion process parameters, hot-stretching speed, and CNT amount in the composites were kept constant during the experiments. Effects of PET content and molding temperature on the morphology, electrical, and mechanical properties of the composites were investigated. Morphological observations showed that PET/CNT microfibers were successfully formed in HDPE phase. Electrical conductivities of the microfibrillar composites were in semi-conductor range at 0.5 wt% CNT content. Microfiber reinforcement improved the tensile strength of the microfibrillar HDPE/PET/CNT composites in comparison to that of HDPE/PET blends and HDPE/PET/CNT composites prepared without hot stretching. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2010. © 2010 Society of Plastics Engineers

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