Highest recorded electrical conductivity and microstructure in polypropylene–carbon nanotubes composites and the effect of carbon nanofibers addition

C. A. Ramírez-Herrera, J. Pérez-González, O. Solorza-Feria, N. Romero-Partida, A. Flores-Vela, J. G. Cabañas-Moreno

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© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. In the last decade, numerous investigations have been devoted to the preparation of polypropylene–multiwalled carbon nanotubes (PP/MWCNT) nanocomposites having enhanced properties, and in particular, high electrical conductivities (> 1 S cm−1). The present work establishes that the highest electrical conductivity in PP/MWCNT nanocomposites is limited by the amount of nanofiller content which can be incorporated in the polymer matrix, namely, about 20 wt%. This concentration of MWCNT in PP leads to a maximum electrical conductivity slightly lower than 8 S cm−1, but only by assuring an adequate combination of dispersion and spatial distribution of the carbon nanotubes. The realization of such an optimal microstructure depends on the characteristics of the production process of the PP/MWCNT nanocomposites; in our experiments, involving composite fabrication by melt mixing and hot pressing, a second re-processing cycle is shown to increase the electrical conductivity values by up to two orders of magnitude, depending on the MWCNT content of the nanocomposite. A modest increase of the highest electrical conductivity obtained in nanocomposites with 21.5 wt% MWCNT content has been produced by the combined use of carbon nanofibers (CNF) and MWCNT, so that the total nanofiller content was increased to 30 wt% in the nanocomposite with PP—15 wt% MWCNT—15 wt%CNF.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1221-1232
Number of pages1097
JournalApplied Nanoscience (Switzerland)
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018


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