Electrical conductivity of CNT/polymer composites: 3D printing, measurements and modeling

Mora, A., Verma, P. and Kumar, S. (2020) Electrical conductivity of CNT/polymer composites: 3D printing, measurements and modeling. Composites Part B: Engineering, 183, 107600. (doi: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2019.107600)

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We present electrical conductivity measurements and modeling aspects of carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer composites enabled via fused filament fabrication (FFF) additive manufacturing (AM). CNT/polylactic acid (PLA) and CNT/high density polyethylene (HDPE) filament feedstocks were synthesized through melt blending with controlled CNT loading to realize 3D printed polymer nanocomposites. Electrical conductivity of 3D printed CNT/PLA and CNT/HDPE composites was measured for various CNT loadings. Low percolation thresholds were obtained from measured data as 0.23 vol. % and 0.18 vol. % of CNTs for CNT/PLA and CNT/HDPE nanocomposites, respectively. Moreover, a micromechanics-based two-parameter agglomeration model was developed to predict the electrical conductivity of CNT/polymer composites. We further show that the two agglomeration parameters can also be used to describe segregated structures, wherein nanofillers are constrained to certain locations within the matrix. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first ever electrical conductivity model to account for segregation of CNTs in the matrix. A good agreement between measured conductivity and predictions demonstrates the adequacy of the proposed model. We further evince the robustness of the model by accurately capturing the conductivity measurements reported in the literature for both elastomeric and thermoplastic nanocomposites. The findings of the study would provide guidelines for the design of electro-conductive polymer nanocomposites.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), United Arab Emirates under Award No: EX2016-000010.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kumar, Professor Shanmugam
Authors: Mora, A., Verma, P., and Kumar, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Composites Part B: Engineering
ISSN (Online):1879-1069
Published Online:19 November 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Composites Part B: Engineering 183:107600
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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