Authors Abdel-Goad, M. ; Pötschke, P. ; Zhou, D. ; Mark, J.E. ; Heinrich, G.
Title Preparation and rheological characterization of polymer nanocomposites based on expanded graphite
Date 13.04.2007
Number 14781
Abstract A new type of conductive filler, namely expanded graphite (EG), was used to prepare novel nanocomposites. The EG was incorporated into several rather different polymers, specifically polycarbonate (PC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), isotactic polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS), using melt mixing in a small-scale DACA-Microcompounder. The EG content was varied between 1 and 20 wt%. The rheological properties and morphologies of the nanocomposites were characterized by melt rheology and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. The melt-state linear viscoelastic properties were investigated using an ARES rheometer, with the measurements performed in the dynamic mode at various temperatures over a wide range of frequencies. Addition of the EG increased the linear dynamic moduli and melt viscosity of the materials. Up to a certain critical concentration of EG, the materials exhibited a simple liquid-like behavior. Above this concentration, however, significant changes in the frequency dependences of the moduli and viscosity were observed. In addition, the moduli showed a liquid-solid transition resulting in a second plateau in the low frequency-regime, and the complex viscosity revealed shear-thinning behavior. Specific values of this percolation concentration were found to be at around 4 wt% in the case of PC/EG, 9 wt% for PP/EG and PS/EG, and 12 wt% for PE/EG. This critical concentration was correlated to a network-like structure formed through interactions between the EG platelets and the polymers. The extent of these complications was found to vary from polymer to polymer, presumably due to different degrees of EG exfoliation and dispersion arising from different EG-polymer interactions and from variable shearing forces dependent on the polymer viscosities. The formation of network-like structures is very sensitively displayed using van Gurp-Palmen plots, which are most suitable for identifying "rheological percolation" in our investigated systems.
Publisher Journal of Macromolecular Science - A: Pure Applied Chemistry
Citation Journal of Macromolecular Science - A: Pure Applied Chemistry 44 (2007) 591-598

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