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Polymers 2018, 10(3), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030261

Modelling of Rod-Like Fillers’ Rotation and Translation near Two Growing Cells in Conductive Polymer Composite Foam Processing

1
Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G8, Canada
2
Advanced Composites Laboratory, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University Tri-Cities, Richland, WA 99354, USA
3
Drinking Water Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5B 1A4, Canada
4
Smart and Adaptive Polymer Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing-Structure-Properties Relationships in Polymers)
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Abstract

We developed a simple analytical model to describe the instantaneous location and angle of rod-like conductive fillers as a function of cell growth during the foaming of conductive polymer composites (CPCs). First, we modelled the motion of the fillers that resulted from the growth of one cell. Then, by taking into account the fillers located at the line that connected the centres of the two growing cells, we found the final filler’s angle and location. We identified this as a function of the corresponding cell size, filler size, and the filler’s initial angle and location. We based the model’s development on the assumption that a polymer melt is incompressible during cell growth. The two-cell growth model is better than the one-cell growth model because it describes the filler’s movement in the cell wall between the two growing cells. The results revealed that the fillers near the cell were the ones most affected by the cell growth, while those at the midpoint between the two cells were the least affected. As a cell grows, its affected polymer area also increases. A dimensionless factor η was introduced to demonstrate the effects of the cell size and the filler length on the filler’s interconnectivity in the CPC foams. It is vital to keep the filler length comparable to the cell size when preparing CPC foams with the desired electrical conductivity. Our research provides a deeper understanding of the mechanism through which foaming influences the filler connections in CPC foams. View Full-Text
Keywords: conductive filler; orientation; conductive polymer composites; foam; model conductive filler; orientation; conductive polymer composites; foam; model
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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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Wang, S.; Ameli, A.; Shaayegan, V.; Kazemi, Y.; Huang, Y.; Naguib, H.E.; Park, C.B. Modelling of Rod-Like Fillers’ Rotation and Translation near Two Growing Cells in Conductive Polymer Composite Foam Processing. Polymers 2018, 10, 261.

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