Influence of talc with different particle sizes in melt-mixed LLDPE/MWCNT composites



Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) was melt-mixed with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and varying amounts of three different kinds of talc (phyllo silicate), each with a different particle size distribution, to examine the effect of these filler combinations with regards to the electrical percolation behavior. The state of the filler dispersion was assessed using transmission light microscopy and electron microscopy. The use of talc as a second filler during the melt mixing of LLDPE/MWCNT composites resulted in an improvement in the dispersion of the MWCNTs and a decrease of the electrical percolation threshold. Talc with lower particle sizes showed a more pronounced effect than talc with larger particle sizes. However, the improvement in dispersion was not reflected in the mechanical properties. Modulus and stress values increase with both, MWCNT and talc addition, but not in a synergistic manner. The crystallization behavior of the composites was studied by differential scanning calorimetry to determine its potential influence on the electrical percolation threshold. It was found that the crystallinity of the matrix increased slightly with the addition of talc but no further increments were observed with the incorporation of the MWCNTs. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2013, 51, 1680–1691