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Polymers 2018, 10(4), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10040424

Morphology, Nucleation, and Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Poly(Butylene Succinate) Mixed with a Polycarbonate/MWCNT Masterbatch

1
Department of Chemistry, University of the Free State (Qwaqwa Campus), Private Bag X13, Phuthaditjhaba 9866, South Africa
2
Center for Advanced Materials, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
3
POLYMAT and Polymer Science and Technology Department, Faculty of Chemistry, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 3, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
4
Group “Materials + Technologies” (GMT), Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Gipuzkoa, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
5
IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Hybrids and Composites)
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Abstract

In this study, nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) with a polycarbonate (PC)/multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) masterbatch, in a twin-screw extruder. The nanocomposites contained 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 wt% MWCNTs. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) results indicate that the blends are partially miscible, hence they form two phases (i.e., PC-rich and PBS-rich phases). The PC-rich phase contained a small amount of PBS chains that acted as a plasticizer and enabled crystallization of the PC component. In the PBS-rich phase, the amount of the PC chains present gave rise to increases in the glass transition temperature of the PBS phase. The presence of two phases was supported by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis, where most MWCNTs aggregated in the PC-rich phase (especially at the high MWCNTs content of 4 wt%) and a small amount of MWCNTs were able to diffuse to the PBS-rich phase. Standard DSC scans showed that the MWCNTs nucleation effects saturated at 0.5 wt% MWCNT content on the PBS-rich phase, above this content a negative nucleation effect was observed. Isothermal crystallization results indicated that with 0.5 wt% MWCNTs the crystallization rate was accelerated, but further increases in MWCNTs loading (and also in PC content) resulted in progressive decreases in crystallization rate. The results are explained by increased MWCNTs aggregation and reduced diffusion rates of PBS chains, as the masterbatch content in the blends increased. View Full-Text
Keywords: PBS; PC/MWCNTs masterbatch; nanocomposites; morphology; nucleation; conductivity; isothermal crystallization PBS; PC/MWCNTs masterbatch; nanocomposites; morphology; nucleation; conductivity; isothermal crystallization
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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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Gumede, T.P.; Luyt, A.S.; Pérez-Camargo, R.A.; Tercjak, A.; Müller, A.J. Morphology, Nucleation, and Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Poly(Butylene Succinate) Mixed with a Polycarbonate/MWCNT Masterbatch. Polymers 2018, 10, 424.

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