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Article

Effect of Hybrid Carbon Fillers on the Electrical and Morphological Properties of Polystyrene Nanocomposites in Microinjection Molding

1
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5B9, Canada
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0C5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(10), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100779
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 16 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing of Thermoplastic-Matrix Polymer Nanocomposites)
The effect of hybrid carbon fillers of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT) and carbon black (CB) on the electrical and morphological properties of polystyrene (PS) nanocomposites were systematically investigated in microinjection molding (μIM). The polymer nanocomposites with three different filler concentrations (i.e., 3, 5 and 10 wt %) at various weight ratios of CNT/CB (100/0, 30/70, 50/50, 70/30, 0/100) were prepared by melt blending, then followed by μIM under a defined set of processing conditions. A rectangular mold insert which has three consecutive zones with decreasing thickness along the flow direction was adopted to study abrupt changes in mold geometry on the properties of resultant microparts. The distribution of carbon fillers within microparts was observed by scanning electron microscopy, which was correlated with electrical conductivity measurements. Results indicated that there is a flow-induced orientation of incorporated carbon fillers and this orientation increased with increasing shearing effect along the flow direction. High structure CB is found to be more effective than CNT in terms of enhancing the electrical conductivity, which was attributed to the good dispersion of CB in PS and their ability to form conductive networks via self-assembly. Morphology observations indicated that there is a shear-induced depletion of CB particles in the shear layer, which is due to the marked difference of shear rates between the shear and core layers of the molded microparts. Moreover, an annealing treatment is beneficial to enhance the electrical conductivity of CNT-containing microparts. View Full-Text
Keywords: microinjection molding; hybrid fillers; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; carbon black; conductive polymer composites; microstructure microinjection molding; hybrid fillers; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; carbon black; conductive polymer composites; microstructure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, S.; Hrymak, A.N.; Kamal, M.R. Effect of Hybrid Carbon Fillers on the Electrical and Morphological Properties of Polystyrene Nanocomposites in Microinjection Molding. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 779. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100779

AMA Style

Zhou S, Hrymak AN, Kamal MR. Effect of Hybrid Carbon Fillers on the Electrical and Morphological Properties of Polystyrene Nanocomposites in Microinjection Molding. Nanomaterials. 2018; 8(10):779. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100779

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhou, Shengtai, Andrew N. Hrymak, and Musa R. Kamal. 2018. "Effect of Hybrid Carbon Fillers on the Electrical and Morphological Properties of Polystyrene Nanocomposites in Microinjection Molding" Nanomaterials 8, no. 10: 779. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100779

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