Electrical, Thermal, and Morphological Properties of Poly (ethylene terephthalate)-Graphite Nanoplatlet Nanocomposites

Arthur Wilkinson, Basheer Alshammari (Corresponding), Ghzzai Almutairi

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    Abstract

    In this work, graphite nanoplatlets (GNP) were incorporated with poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix by melt compounding technique using an extruder (minilab compounder) to produce PET-GNP nanocomposites, and then the extruded nanocomposites compressed using compression molding to obtain films of 1 mm thickness. Percolation threshold value determined using percolation theory. The electrical conductivity, morphology, and thermal behaviors of these nanocomposites investigated at different contents of GNP i.e. below, around and above its percolation threshold value. Different characterization techniques used namely; an electrical spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and thermo-gravimetric analyzer techniques. The results demonstrated that the addition of GNP at loading > 5 wt. %, made an electrically conductive nanocomposites. An excellent electrical conductivity of ~ 1 S/m obtained at 15 wt.% of GNP loading. The nanocomposites showed a typical insulator-conductor transition with a percolation threshold value as 5.7 wt. % of GNP. In addition, increasing screw speed enhanced the conductivity of the nanocomposites above its threshold value by ~ 2.5 orders of magnitude, this behaviour attributed to improved dispersion of these nanoparticles into the PET matrix. The minimum value of conductivity that required for avoiding electrostatic charges application of an insulating polymer, achieved just above this threshold value. Microscopies results exhibited that no indication of aggregations at 2 wt. % of GNP, however; some rolling up at 6 wt.% of GNP contents was observed, indicating that a conductive networks has been formed; whereas more agglomeration and rolling up could be seen as the GNP content is increased in the PET matrix. These agglomerations reduced aspect ratio of GNP and then reduced their reinforcement efficiency. Thus, the further addition of GNP loading (> 2 wt. %) increased degree of crystallinity and improved thermal stability of matrix slightly, this suggesting that 2 wt.% of GNP is more than enough to nucleate the PET matrix.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6758127
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Polymer Science
    Volume2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2017

    Keywords

    • Polymer nanocomposites
    • graphite nanoplatlets
    • electrical conductivity
    • percolation threshold

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