It is generally known that significant improvements in the properties of nanocomposites can be achieved with graphene types currently commercially available. However, so far this is only possible on a laboratory scale. Thus, the aim of this study was to transfer results from laboratory scale experiments to industrial processes. Therefore, nanocomposites based on polyamide (PA) and graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) were prepared in order to produce membranes with improved gas barrier properties, which are characterized by reduced permeation rates of helium. First, nanocomposites were prepared with different amounts of commercial availably graphene nanoplatelets using a semi-industrial-scale compounder. Subsequently, films were produced by compression molding at different temperatures, as well as by flat film extrusion. The extruded films were annealed at different temperatures and durations. In order to investigate the effect of thermal treatment on barrier properties in correlation to thermal, structural, and morphological properties, the films were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), optical microscopy (OM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), melt rheology measurements, and permeation measurements. In addition to structural characterization, mechanical properties were investigated. The results demonstrate that the permeation rate is strongly influenced by the processing conditions and the filler content. If the filler content is increased, the permeation rate is reduced. The annealing process can further enhance this effect.
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