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Open AccessArticle

Low-Cost Carbon Fillers to Improve Mechanical Properties and Conductivity of Epoxy Composites

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Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
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Department of Electronics and Telecommunication (DET), Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
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Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMEAS), Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
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Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2017, 9(12), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120642
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
In recent years, low-cost carbons derived from recycled materials have been gaining attention for their potentials as filler in composites and in other applications. The electrical and mechanical properties of polymer composites can be tuned using different percentages and different kind of fillers: either low-cost (e.g., carbon black), ecofriendly (e.g., biochar), or sophisticated (e.g., carbon nanotubes). In this work, the mechanical and electrical behavior of composites with biochar and multiwall carbon nanotubes dispersed in epoxy resin are compared. Superior mechanical properties (ultimate tensile strength, strain at break) were noticed at low heat-treated biochar (concentrations 2–4 wt %). Furthermore, dielectric properties in the microwave range comparable to low carbon nanotubes loadings can be achieved by employing larger but manageable amounts of biochar (20 wt %), rending the production of composites for structural and functional application cost-effective. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectric material; polymer composites; carbon nanotubes; biochar dielectric material; polymer composites; carbon nanotubes; biochar
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khan, A.; Savi, P.; Quaranta, S.; Rovere, M.; Giorcelli, M.; Tagliaferro, A.; Rosso, C.; Jia, C.Q. Low-Cost Carbon Fillers to Improve Mechanical Properties and Conductivity of Epoxy Composites. Polymers 2017, 9, 642.

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