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Polymers 2017, 9(1), 6; doi:10.3390/polym9010006

Characterization of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) and Ag-Carbon Black TPU Nanocomposite for Potential Application in Additive Manufacturing

1
Nonstructural Materials Division, University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, OH 45469-0050, USA
2
Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Valparaiso, FL 45433-7750, USA
3
Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH 45433-7750, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wei Min Huang
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 29 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles 2016)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4840 KB, uploaded 29 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Electromechanical, adhesion, and viscoelastic properties of polymers and polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) are of interest for additive manufacturing (AM) and flexible electronics. Development/optimization of inks for AM is complex, expensive, and substrate/interface dependent. This study investigates properties of free standing films of a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) polymer and an Ag–carbon black (Ag-CB) TPU PNC in a lightly loaded low strain compression contact as a rough measure of their suitability for AM. The TPU exhibited high hysteresis and a large viscoelastic response, and sufficient dwell time was needed for polymer chain relaxation and measurable adhesion. A new discovery is that large enough contact area is needed to allow longer time constant polymer ordering in the contact that led to higher adhesion and better performance/reliability. This has previously unknown implications for interface size relative to polymer chain length in AM design. The standard linear model was found to be a good fit for the viscoelastic behavior of the TPU. The PNC exhibited no adhesion (new result), low electrical resistance, and relatively small viscoelastic response. This implies potential for AM electrical trace as well as switch applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermoplastic polyurethane; nanocomposite; compression; electromechanical response; viscoelasticity; adhesion; chain relaxation/ordering; additive manufacturing thermoplastic polyurethane; nanocomposite; compression; electromechanical response; viscoelasticity; adhesion; chain relaxation/ordering; additive manufacturing
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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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Patton, S.T.; Chen, C.; Hu, J.; Grazulis, L.; Schrand, A.M.; Roy, A.K. Characterization of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) and Ag-Carbon Black TPU Nanocomposite for Potential Application in Additive Manufacturing. Polymers 2017, 9, 6.

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