Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Ultrasonic Extrusion for Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes and Carbon Nanofibers in Polymer Composites

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011


A novel method for the continuous dispersion of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) in a polymer matrix for manufacturing high performance nanocomposites was developed using an ultrasonically assisted single screw extrusion process. The effect of ultrasound on die pressure, electrical and thermal conductivity, rheological, morphological and mechanical properties of polyetherimide (PEI) filled with 1-20 CNFs was studied. A reduction in the die pressure and percolation threshold of CNF/PEI composites with a permanent increase in the viscosity and a permanent decrease in tanδ was achieved through ultrasonic treatment. Morphological studies of the treated nanocomposites revealed their improved homogeneity leading to an increase of the Young’s modulus and electrical and thermal conductivity.

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