Authors Thompson, S. M. ; Talò, M. ; Krause, B. ; Janke, A. ; Lanzerotti, M. ; Capps, J. ; Lanzara, G. ; Lacarbonara, W.
Title The effect of branched carbon nanotubes as reinforcing nano-filler in polymer nanocomposites
Date 01.09.2022
Abstract This work discusses the mechanical and dissipative properties of nanocomposite materials made of a high-performance thermoplastic polymer (polybutylene terephthalate, PBT) integrated with branched carbon nanotubes (bCNTs) as nanofiller. The storage and loss moduli as well as the loss factor/damping ratio of the nanocomposites are experimentally characterized for increasing bCNT weight fractions (wt bCNT) upon variations of the input cyclic strain amplitude and of the input frequency, respectively. The trends obtained for the nanocomposites mechanical properties indicate improvements both in storage and loss modulus by increasing the bCNT weight fraction from 0.5% to 2%. The striking differences between the damping capacities exhibited by CNT/polymer and bCNT/polymer nanocomposites are discussed to shed light onto the different underlined mechanics of the nanocomposites. Due to the stick–slip relative sliding motion of the polymer chains with respect to the straight CNTs, CNT/PBT nanocomposites are known to exhibit a peak in the damping vs. strain amplitude curves, past which, the damping capacity shows a monotonically increasing trend due to the conjectured sliding of the polymer crystals. On the other hand, we show for the first time that bCNT/PBT nanocomposites do not exhibit a peak in the damping capacity but rather a plateau after an initial drop at low strains. This behavior is attributed to the much reduced mobility of the branched CNTs and the lack of formation of crystalline structures around the bCNTs.
Journal Composite Structures 295 (2022) 115794

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