Polyvinyl alcohol incorporated buckypaper composites for improved multifunctional performance

Patole, S. P., Arif, M. F. and Kumar, S. (2018) Polyvinyl alcohol incorporated buckypaper composites for improved multifunctional performance. Composites Science and Technology, 168, pp. 429-436. (doi: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2018.10.010)

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Carbon nanotubes (CNT) and graphene have been recognized as superior nanomaterials for high-performance, lightweight and multifunctional composites. However, non-uniform CNT/graphene dispersion within the polymer matrix, imperfect interphase between CNT/graphene and polymer matrix have hindered significant improvements in composite performance. In this study, we present a water-based grafting approach to produce polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) incorporated CNT buckypaper and CNT-graphene hybrid buckypaper composites with enhanced mechanical performance (tensile and fracture) and electrical conductivity. Our approach provides a wide range of composition for CNT (5–77 wt.%) and PVA matrix (23–95 wt.%) without compromising the uniformity of CNT dispersion and polymer matrix homogeneity. The composite buckypapers have lightweight with a density of 168 mg/cc (lighter than daily use copy papers having a density of 740 mg/cc). They show an electrical conductivity of 82 S/cm which is five orders higher than the neat PVA films (10−5 S/cm) and three orders higher than the previous reports. Overall, 600% improvement in the Young's modulus and 80% improvement in the tensile strength with an optimum PVA loading is observed. They also exhibit a strong linear piezoresistive response. The water absorption changes their mechanical (tensile and Mode I fracture), electrical and piezoresistive performance. The cross-sectional fracture SEM images are used to understand the failure mechanisms. The results suggest that the developed approach would be an effective method for the fabrication of high-performance, lightweight, multifunctional composite buckypaper.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kumar, Professor Shanmugam
Authors: Patole, S. P., Arif, M. F., and Kumar, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Composites Science and Technology
ISSN (Online):1879-1050
Published Online:15 October 2018

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