Development of nanocomposites with carbon nanotubes in a thermoplastic elastomer matrix

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Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) have the potential for application as engineering materials because of their novel properties and ease of processing. We have developed a polycondensation process, which allows the manufacturing of polybutylene terephthalate/polyoxytetramethylene (PBT/PTMO) block copolymer with multi wall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as reinforcement materials. Compouding via in situ polycondensation enables an optimized distribution of the filler in the matrix. The nanocomposites are obtained by introducing the CNTs into the reaction mixture whilst the synthesis of PBT/PTMO. The nanotubes were dispersed in 1,4-butanediol (BD) by ultrasonication and ultrahigh speed stirring before polycondensation. The nanocomposites were characterised by thermal analysis, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, dynamic-mechanical analysis, tensile testing and cyclic deformation testing. The most apparent effect of the fillers was detected on the crystallization behaviour of the nanocomposite with crystallization temperatures higher than those of pure PBT/PTMO, increasing with increasing filler content. The half-time for crystallization was significantly reduced upon the addition of carbon nanotubes and proved a nucleating effect of the CNTs. Only a small amount of CNTs was needed to improve the thermal and mechanical properties, reversibility and energy absorption of the nanocomposite.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2008: Materials, Fabrication, Particles, and Characterization – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 183 - 186
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Composite Materials
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8503-7