Electrically and thermally conductive elastomer/graphene nanocomposites by solution mixing

Sherif Araby, Qingshi Meng, Liqun Zhang, Hailan Kang, Peter Majewski, Youhong Tang, Jun Ma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    155 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The greatest challenge in developing polymer/graphene nanocomposites is to prevent graphene layers stacking; in this respect, we found effective solution-mixing polymers with cost-effective graphene of hydrophobic surface. Since graphene oxide is hydrophilic and in need of reduction, highly conducing graphene platelets (GnPs) of ∼3 nm in thickness were selected to solution-mix with a commonly used elastomer-styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR). A percolation threshold of electrical conductivity was observed at 5.3 vol% of GnPs, and the SBR thermal conductivity enhanced three times at 24 vol%. Tensile strength, Young's modulus and tear strength were improved by 413%, 782% and 709%, respectively, at 16.7 vol%. Payne effect, an important design criteria for elastomers used in dynamic loading environment, was also investigated. The comparison of solution mixing with melt compounding, where the same starting materials were used, demonstrated that solution mixing is more effective in promoting the reinforcing effect of GnPs, since it provides more interlayer spacing for elastomer molecules intercalating and retains the high aspect ratio of GnPs leading to filler-filler network at a low volume fraction. We also compared the reinforcing effect of GnPs with those of carbon black and carbon nanotubes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-210
    Number of pages10
    JournalPolymer
    Volume55
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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