Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Electrically conductive compounds of polycarbonate, liquid crystalline polymer, and multi-walled carbon nanotubes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Abstract

A thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer (LCP) was blended with polycarbonate (PC) and multiwalled carbon nanotube (CNT) with the goal of improving electrical conductivity and mechanical properties over PC. The LCP was anticipated to produce fibrillar domains in PC and help improve the mechanical properties. The study was carried out using two grades of LCP—Vectra A950 (VA950) and Vectra V400P (V400P). The compounds contained 20 wt% LCP and 0.5 to 15 wt% CNT. The compounds were prepared by melt-blending in a twin-screw minicompounder and then injection molded using a mini-injection molder. The fibrillar domains of LCP were found only in the case of PC/VA950 blend. However, these fibrils turned into droplets in the presence of CNT. It was found that CNT preferentially remained inside the LCP domains as predicted from the value of spreading coefficient. The electrical conductivity showed the following order with the numbers in parenthesis representing the electrical percolation threshold of the compounds: PC/CNT (1%) > PC/VA950P/CNT (1%) > PC/V400P/CNT (3%). The storage modulus showed improvements with the addition of CNT and VA950.