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Effect of Uniaxial Deformation, Annealing and Carbon Nanotubes on the Morphology and Mechanical Properties of Poly (Butylene Terephthalate) and PBT Nanocomposites

[+] Author Affiliations
Gaurav Mago, Jerry A. Dutreuil, Frank T. Fisher, Dilhan M. Kalyon

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Paper No. IMECE2007-41977, pp. 1127-1135; 9 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 11: Micro and Nano Systems, Parts A and B
  • Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4305-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3812-9
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The goal of this investigation is to elucidate the interrelations between the strain-induced crystallization behavior, morphology and mechanical properties of poly (butylene terephthalate) PBT and its nanocomposites with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs). The mechanical properties of semicrystalline polymers such as PBT depend upon the processing conditions, which affect the crystallization behavior and the resulting crystal morphology developed within the processed sample. PBT is observed to undergo strain-induced crystallization during uniaxial deformation, with concomitant changes in the polymer crystal as a function of the applied strain history. In the current work polymer morphology was investigated with wide angle XRD, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized light microscopy (PLM). DSC results indicate an increase in crystallinity due to strain-induced crystallization during uniaxial cold-stretching, which was further confirmed with XRD analysis of the samples. Analyses of the samples under polarized light pre- and post-stretching clearly show that there is a transformation of the spherulitic crystals of the pre-stretch morphology into elongated oblong crystals, as the imposed strain exceeds a critical value. Annealing of PBT was done under different conditions to probe the effects of changes in the crystallinity obtained upon thermal treatment on polymer morphology and mechanical properties. The annealed samples were found to have high crystallinity, high Young’s modulus, and low yield stress values as compared to unannealed samples processed under similar conditions. To investigate the effects of nanoparticle loadings on PBT crystal morphology and mechanical properties, pure PBT was melt mixed with different concentrations of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs). Due to the increased nucleation rate effect associated with the incorporation of MWNTs, the PBT crystallization temperature was increased and the crystal size decreased with the increasing concentration of MWNTs. Tensile tests performed on PBT and their nanocomposite samples revealed decreases in the elongation at break values. Research is ongoing to understand the relationship between the MWNT loading levels and mechanical properties along with study of orientation of MWNTs under tensile load and its effect on strain-induced crystallization.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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