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Effects of Carbon Nanotubes/Graphene Nanoplatelets Hybrid Systems on the Structure and Properties of Polyetherimide-Based Foams

Departament de Ciència dels Materials i Enginyeria Metal·lúrgica, Centre Català del Plàstic, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC·BarcelonaTech), C/Colom 114, E-08222 Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain
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Polymers 2018, 10(4), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10040348
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-Polymer Composites)
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Abstract

Foams based on polyetherimide (PEI) with carbon nanotubes (CNT) and PEI with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) combined with CNT were prepared by water vapor induced phase separation. Prior to foaming, variable amounts of only CNT (0.1–2.0 wt %) or a combination of GnP (0.0–2.0 wt %) and CNT (0.0–2.0 wt %) for a total amount of CNT-GnP of 2.0 wt %, were dispersed in a solvent using high power sonication, added to the PEI solution, and intensively mixed. While the addition of increasingly higher amounts of only CNT led to foams with more heterogeneous cellular structures, the incorporation of GnP resulted in foams with finer and more homogeneous cellular structures. GnP in combination with CNT effectively enhanced the thermal stability of foams by delaying thermal decomposition and mechanically-reinforced PEI. The addition of 1.0 wt % GnP in combination with 1.0 wt % CNT resulted in foams with extremely high electrical conductivity, which was related to the formation of an optimum conductive network by physical contact between GnP layers and CNT, enabling their use in electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding applications. The experimental electrical conductivity values of foams containing only CNT fitted well to a percolative conduction model, with a percolation threshold of 0.06 vol % (0.1 wt %) CNT. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanocomposites; graphene; carbon nanotubes; hybrid nanoparticles; polyetherimide foams; electrical conductivity; percolation; ultrasonication nanocomposites; graphene; carbon nanotubes; hybrid nanoparticles; polyetherimide foams; electrical conductivity; percolation; ultrasonication
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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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Abbasi, H.; Antunes, M.; Velasco, J.I. Effects of Carbon Nanotubes/Graphene Nanoplatelets Hybrid Systems on the Structure and Properties of Polyetherimide-Based Foams. Polymers 2018, 10, 348.

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