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Conductive polyolefin–rubber nanocomposites with carbon nanotubes Part A Applied science and manufacturing

Daver, Fugen, Baez, Edwin, Shanks, Robert A., Brandt, Milan
Composites 2016 v.80 pp. 13-20
carbon nanotubes, composite polymers, electrical conductivity, maleic anhydrides, melting, mixing, models, nanocomposites, polyethylene, rubber, tensile strength
Polyolefin–rubber composites of differing compositions were formed by melt mixing linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and functionalised rubber particles (FRP) through interactions of pre-functionalised polymers in the interface. Following the incorporation of carbon nanotubes to the polymeric composites the nanocomposites filaments were extruded for fused deposition modelling (3D printing). The mechanical properties of the composites (tensile and flexural modulus, yield stress, tensile strength, elongation at break) were compared with respect to how the test specimens were made: compression moulding versus 3D printing. The results showed that increasing the rubber content concentrated the nanotubes in the LLDPE phase forming electrically conductive pathways. The use of maleic anhydride as a compatibilizer improved the mechanical properties of the composites overall. The 3D printed specimens had lower mechanical properties than the compression moulded specimens, though they had the same electrical conductivity.