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Polymers 2017, 9(1), 11; doi:10.3390/polym9010011

Electrical, Mechanical, and Thermal Properties of LDPE Graphene Nanoplatelets Composites Produced by Means of Melt Extrusion Process

Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE 412-96 Gothenburg, Sweden
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Academic Editor: Wei Min Huang
Received: 5 December 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 29 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract

Composites of LDPE filled with different amounts of graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) were prepared in form of films by means of precoating technique and single screw melt-extrusion using two types of screws, compression and mixing. This manufacturing process imposes strong anisotropy on the sample’s morphology, in which the nanoplatelets become oriented along the extrusion direction. Such orientation of GnP in LDPE matrix is confirmed by scanning electron microscopy observations and it yields unique electrical properties. As compared to pure LDPE, significant reductions of the through-plane conductivity are found for the composites at relatively low electric fields (<20 kV/mm) at low filler concentrations. Above the field level of 20 kV/mm, a crossover effect is observed that results in a strong field dependency of the conductivity where the non-linear behavior starts to dominate. Moreover, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results indicate a decrease in polymer crystallinity of the composite matrix with increasing filler content, whereas thermogravimetric (TG) analysis shows a slight increase in the material’s thermal stability. Application of GnP also leads to improvement of mechanical properties, manifested by the increase of Young’s modulus and tensile strength in both types of samples. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene nanocomposites; low density polyethylene; field grading materials; electrical conductivity; dielectric response; mechanical properties; thermal properties graphene nanocomposites; low density polyethylene; field grading materials; electrical conductivity; dielectric response; mechanical properties; thermal properties
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gaska, K.; Xu, X.; Gubanski, S.; Kádár, R. Electrical, Mechanical, and Thermal Properties of LDPE Graphene Nanoplatelets Composites Produced by Means of Melt Extrusion Process. Polymers 2017, 9, 11.

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