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Keywords:

  • polypropylene;
  • carbon nanofibers;
  • electrical conductivity;
  • rheological parameters;
  • percolation;
  • nanocomposites;
  • rheology;
  • conductive network;
  • extrusion

Abstract

Two different types of carbon nanofibers (CNF) were incorporated in the same polypropylene (PP) matrix by twin-screw extrusion. The electrical characterization of both CNFs/PP composites as a function of volume fraction show different electrical performance: conducting and nonconducting. The objective of this work is to study the rheological behavior of both composites with the aim of relating it to the electrical behavior. The results indicate that the rheological behaviors are different, suggesting that rheology differentiates the microstructural variations responsible for the electrical performance. Furthermore, the main rheological parameters were correlated to the electrical conductivity. The results show that G′/G″ and G′ are the most sensitive parameters when compared with the onset of electrical percolation. Finally, in spite of the intrinsic measuring differences between electrical and rheological analysis, the two calculated thresholds are very similar: ∼0.5 for the rheological and ∼0.4 for the electrical. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys, 2013