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Open AccessArticle

Melt-Mixed 3D Hierarchical Graphene/Polypropylene Nanocomposites with Low Electrical Percolation Threshold

1
Innovation & Technology, Borealis AB, SE-444 86 Stenungsund, Sweden
2
Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
3
Innovation & Technology, Borealis Polyolefine GmbH, St.-Peter-Straße 25, 4021 Linz, Austria
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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
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Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present Address: Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1 TR, UK.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(12), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9121766
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 4 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
Graphene-based materials are a family of carbonaceous structures that can be produced using a variety of processes either from graphite or other precursors. These materials are typically a few layered sheets of graphene in the form of platelets and maintain some of the properties of pristine graphene (such as two-dimensional platelet shape, aspect ratio, and graphitic bonding). In this work we present melt mixed graphene-based polypropylene systems with significantly reduced percolation threshold. Traditionally melt-mixed systems suffer from poor dispersion that leads to high electrical percolation values. In contrast in our work, graphene was added into an isotactic polypropylene matrix, achieving an electrical percolation threshold of ~1 wt.%. This indicates that the filler dispersion process has been highly efficient, something that leads to the suppression of the β phase that have a strong influence on the crystallization behavior and subsequent thermal and mechanical performance. The electrical percolation values obtained are comparable with reported solution mixed systems, despite the use of simple melt mixing protocols and the lack of any pre or post-treatment of the final compositions. The latter is of particular importance as the preparation method used in this work is industrially relevant and is readily scalable. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene; polypropylene; electrical percolation; electrical conductivity; nanocomposites; melt mixing graphene; polypropylene; electrical percolation; electrical conductivity; nanocomposites; melt mixing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gkourmpis, T.; Gaska, K.; Tranchida, D.; Gitsas, A.; Müller, C.; Matic, A.; Kádár, R. Melt-Mixed 3D Hierarchical Graphene/Polypropylene Nanocomposites with Low Electrical Percolation Threshold. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1766.

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