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Processing and MWNT Composition Effects on the Thermal, Electrical and Mechanical Properties of PLA-MWNT Composites

[+] Author Affiliations
Reza R. Rizvi, Hani E. Naguib

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Jae K. Kim

Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Paper No. IMECE2009-11314, pp. 217-224; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 14: Processing and Engineering Applications of Novel Materials
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4387-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This paper investigates the processing and its effects and the effect of multiwall carbon nanotube (MWNT) composition on the thermal, electrical and mechanical properties of polylactide (PLA)-MWNT composites. The composite films were prepared by a solvent casting process using two solvents, chloroform and 1,4-dioxane. The dispersion of the MWNTs in PLA was examined using a scanning electron microscope and was found to be more improved when 1,4-dioxane was used as the solvent as compared to chloroform. The thermal characteristics of the composites were examined on Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Thermo-gravimetric Analysis. Composites prepared using 1,4-dioxane had greater improvements in composite decomposition temperature, glass transition temperature and displayed faster crystallization kinetics. The mechanical properties of the composites were tested in uniaxial tension. Composites prepared using chloroform had a lower modulus than composites prepared using 1,4-dioxane. The electrical AC conductivity of the composites was measured over a broad frequency spectrum. Composites prepared using 1,4-dioxane displayed electrical percolation at 0.5 wt.% MWNT in PLA while percolation was absent in 0.5 wt.% MWNT composites prepared using chloroform.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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