Dispersion and Performance Properties of Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) Based Polymer Composites: A Review


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) based polymer composites have variety of engineering applications (electromagnetic shielding, antistatic coatings, high-strength low-density corrosion-resistant components, lightweight energy storage and many more); due to their excellent mechanical, electrical, chemical, magnetic, etc. properties. In the polymer nanocomposites CNTs are dispersed in the polymeric matrix. However the dispersion may be uniform or may not be uniform. The biggest challenge is the effective dispersion of individual CNTs in the polymer matrices, as CNTs tends to form clusters and bundles due to strong van der Waals’ forces of attraction. The aggregated structure continue until physical (Mechanical) or chemical modification (Encapsulation/surface modification) of CNTs. Few modification methods such as vigorous mixing of the polymers damages CNTs structure, and may hinder their properties. But these problems can be overcome by mechanical or chemical modification of CNTs surfaces. In the chemical modification, the modifier or the long tail surfactant may encapsulate and/or partially wrap the CNTs surfaces. In this review, recent work on CNTs based polymer nanocomposite is carried out with few modifiers/encapsulating agents. Incorporation of CNTs in polymer matrix changes the performance properties such as tensile strength, tensile modulus, elongation at break, toughness, Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), etc. The phase morphology of the composite materials throws light on the properties of CNTs based polymer nanocomposite. Moreover phase morphology may be directly correlated with the behavior of the material, hence reviewed here through transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Furthermore review is also carried out on the non-isothermal crystallization (DSC) and rheology of CNTs polymer nanocomposite.

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B. Jogi, M. Sawant, M. Kulkarni and P. Brahmankar, "Dispersion and Performance Properties of Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) Based Polymer Composites: A Review," Journal of Encapsulation and Adsorption Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 69-78. doi: 10.4236/jeas.2012.24010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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