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Article

The Potential of Graphene Nanoplatelets in the Development of Smart and Multifunctional Ecocomposites

1
Centre for Textile Science and Technology (2C2T), University of Minho, 4710-057 Guimarães, Portugal
2
Center of Physics, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minho, 4710-057 Guimarães, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2189; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102189
Received: 15 September 2020 / Accepted: 21 September 2020 / Published: 24 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Ecocomposites)
Graphene and its derivatives have shown outstanding potential in many fields and textile/composites industry are not an exception. Giving their extraordinary properties, Graphene Nanoplatelets (GNPs) are excellent candidates for providing new functionalities to fibers and composites. In this work, natural fabrics (flax) were functionalized with chitosan (CS) based polymeric formulations of GNPs to develop fibrous systems with electrical properties as well as other functionalities. One of the greatest disadvantages of using carbon-based materials for fabrics’ impregnation is their difficult dispersion. Therefore, several polymers were used as matrices, binding and dispersive agents including chitosan, polyethylene glycol (PEG), and glycerol. All the systems were characterized using several techniques that demonstrated the presence and incorporation of the GNPs onto the composites. Besides their characterization, considering their use as smart materials for monitoring and sensing applications, electrical properties were also evaluated. The highest value obtained for electrical conductivity was 0.04 S m−1 using 2% of GNPs. Furthermore, piezoresistive behavior was observed with Gauge Factor (GF) of 1.89 using 0.5% GNPs. Additionally, UV (ultraviolet) protection ability and hydrophobicity were analyzed, confirming the multifunctional behavior of the developed systems extending their potential of application in several areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: GNPs; biodegradable polymers; natural fibers; piezoresistive behavior; multifunctional ecocomposite GNPs; biodegradable polymers; natural fibers; piezoresistive behavior; multifunctional ecocomposite
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pereira, P.; Ferreira, D.P.; Araújo, J.C.; Ferreira, A.; Fangueiro, R. The Potential of Graphene Nanoplatelets in the Development of Smart and Multifunctional Ecocomposites. Polymers 2020, 12, 2189. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102189

AMA Style

Pereira P, Ferreira DP, Araújo JC, Ferreira A, Fangueiro R. The Potential of Graphene Nanoplatelets in the Development of Smart and Multifunctional Ecocomposites. Polymers. 2020; 12(10):2189. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102189

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pereira, Pedro, Diana P. Ferreira, Joana C. Araújo, Armando Ferreira, and Raul Fangueiro. 2020. "The Potential of Graphene Nanoplatelets in the Development of Smart and Multifunctional Ecocomposites" Polymers 12, no. 10: 2189. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102189

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