Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Production of electrically conductive networks in immiscible polymer blends by chaotic mixing

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Publication Date

Fall 2006


A minor polymer was deformed into lamellar and fibrillar morphological forms in a chaotic mixer, which rendered the resultant immiscible blend electrically conductive along the flow direction. This was demonstrated using a blend consisting of 10 wt% polypropylene (PP), polyamide 6 (PA6), and 1 wt% conductive carbon black (CB) particles. It was found that PP-phase containing CB particles deformed into lamellar and fibrillar morphological forms produced continuous networks in the flow direction, and provided conductivity by double percolation. Breakup of PP fibrils into droplets destroyed the continuous conductive networks, although conductivity was sustained purportedly due to migration of CB particles from the bulk to the surface of closely spaced PP droplets. This was augmented by the formation of much smaller PP droplets in the presence of CB particles. On continued mixing, the blend eventually turned into insulator as CB particles migrated from the polymer–polymer interfaces to PA6 phase. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 46:19–28, 2006. © 2005 Society of Plastics Engineers



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