In the past years, carbon nanotubes and their composites have been intensively studied due to their extremely high strength and high electrical and thermal conductivities. However, to be able to use CNT-reinforced composites as structural materials in real applications, more cost-efficient processing methods should be adopted and the properties of such nanocomposites need to be further analyzed. Here we investigate the electrical and elastic properties of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) reinforced polycarbonate (PC) nanocomposites produced by injection molding which has been widely used in industrial plastic production. Nanocomposite samples with MWCNT ranging from 0 to 7wt% were tested for both electrical conductivity using a 2-probe measurement and mechanical properties under tensile loading. It has been found that the electrical conductivity depends on both injection velocity and the CNT content while the elastic properties of the nanocomposites only depend on the CNT content. Besides the experimental testing, a percolation theory and micromechanics models have been applied to determine the electrical conductivity percolation threshold and the effective elastic modulus of the nanocomposites in terms of CNT contents. The results are compared with our experimental data. It shows that a percolation threshold is around 1.8wt% of MWCNT. The evaluation of elastic properties using micromechanics models not only indicates the influence of MWCNT on elastic properties but also the presence of an interphase between the CNT and PC matrix.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.