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Polymers 2017, 9(12), 642;

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

Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Department of Electronics and Telecommunication (DET), Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMEAS), Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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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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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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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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