Special Issue "Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites"

A special issue of Journal of Composites Science (ISSN 2504-477X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 December 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Cristina Vallés

University of Manchester, School of Materials and National Graphene Institute, Manchester, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: carbon nanomaterials; graphene-based nanocomposites

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Graphene has attracted significant interest, since it was first isolated in 2004, due to its unique properties, such as very high thermal conductivity, high electron mobility at room temperature, large surface area, high modulus of elasticity and good electrical conductivity. These properties make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications, including sensors, batteries, supercapacitors, hydrogen storage and reinforcing fillers.

The best way of exploiting its properties is by incorporating graphene into a polymer matrix and create composite materials with enhanced properties and new functionality, which will open the door to new technological applications.

There are a few points that still need to be addressed though before seeing these revolutionary composite materials being commercialized, which include production and standardization of graphene materials, achievement of good dispersions in polymer matrices as well as enhanced filler-matrix interactions, and processing of high loaded composites. Extensive investigation is being done to address these issues in order to take graphene based nanocomposite materials into industry.

The main aim of this Special Issue is to collect recent works that address any of these issues. Recent works on composites filled with any graphene related material that are focused on reinforcing the mechanical, electrical or thermal properties of a polymer matrix are welcome. Papers presenting studies on preparation methods and modelling of factors that affect the properties of graphene/polymer composites are also welcome. Recent advances on composite coatings, bulk and highly ordered composites or 3D graphene composites are encouraged to be submitted.

Going towards the development of novel and creative functionalities (such as barrier, EMI shielding, fire-retardancy, etc.), research on (multi)functional nanocomposites with great potential to open the door to novel revolutionary applications, are particularly encouraged to participate in this Special Issue.

Dr. Cristina Vallés
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Composites Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Graphene
  • polymer
  • dispersion
  • mechanical properties
  • electrical properties
  • thermal properties
  • (multi)functionality
  • filler-matrix interactions
  • processing

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of a Nanocomposite Based on Reduced Graphene Oxide and Gold Nanoparticles as an Electrochemical Platform for Detection of Sulfamethazine
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020059
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
A nanocomposite based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) was synthesized by the microwave-assisted hydrothermal method and applied in the determination of sulfamethazine (SMZ) in swine effluent using a glassy carbon (GC) electrode. The rGO-AuNPs nanocomposite was characterized morphologically, electrochemically [...] Read more.
A nanocomposite based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) was synthesized by the microwave-assisted hydrothermal method and applied in the determination of sulfamethazine (SMZ) in swine effluent using a glassy carbon (GC) electrode. The rGO-AuNPs nanocomposite was characterized morphologically, electrochemically and spectrochemically, showing that rGO was modified with the AuNPs. The GC/rGO-AuNPs electrode was optimized for the determination of SMZ, achieving detection limits of 0.1 μmol L−1. The proposed sensor was successfully applied to the determination of SMZ in synthetic swine effluent samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Production and Mechanical Characterization of Graphene Micro-Ribbons
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020042
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Patterning of graphene into micro- and nano-ribbons allows for tunability in emerging fields such as flexible electronic and optoelectronic devices, and is gaining interest for the production of more efficient reinforcement for composite materials. In this work we fabricate micro-ribbons from graphene synthesized [...] Read more.
Patterning of graphene into micro- and nano-ribbons allows for tunability in emerging fields such as flexible electronic and optoelectronic devices, and is gaining interest for the production of more efficient reinforcement for composite materials. In this work we fabricate micro-ribbons from graphene synthesized via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) by combining ultraviolet (UV) photolithography and dry etching oxygen plasma treatments. We used Raman spectral imaging to confirm the effectiveness of the patterning procedure, which is suitable for large-area patterning of graphene on wafer-scale, and confirms that the quality of graphene remains unaltered. The produced micro-ribbons were finally transferred and embedded into a polymeric matrix and the mechanical response was investigated by in-situ mechanical investigation combining Raman spectroscopy and tensile/compressive tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Nucleation of the β-polymorph in Composites of Poly(propylene) and Graphene Nanoplatelets
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020038
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 8 April 2019
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Abstract
The effects of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) on the nucleation of the β-polymorph of polypropylene (PP) were studied when melt-mixed at loadings of 0.1–5 wt % using a laboratory scale twin-screw (conical) extruder and a twin-screw (parallel) extruder with L/D = 40. At low [...] Read more.
The effects of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) on the nucleation of the β-polymorph of polypropylene (PP) were studied when melt-mixed at loadings of 0.1–5 wt % using a laboratory scale twin-screw (conical) extruder and a twin-screw (parallel) extruder with L/D = 40. At low GNP loadings (i.e., ≤0.3 wt %), the mixing efficiency of the extruder used correlated with the β-nucleating activity of GNPs for PP. GNP agglomeration at low loadings (<0.5 wt %) resulted in an increase in the β-phase fraction (Kβ) of PP, as determined from X-ray diffraction measurements, up to 37% at 0.1 wt % GNPs for composites prepared using a laboratory scale twin-screw (conical) extruder. The level of GNP dispersion and distribution was better when the composites were prepared using a 16-mm twin-screw (parallel) extruder, giving a Kβ increase of 24% upon addition of 0.1 wt % GNPs to PP. For GNP loadings >0.5 wt %, the level of GNP dispersion in PP did not influence the growth of β-crystals, where Kβ reached a value of 24%, regardless of the type of extruder used. From differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements, the addition of GNPs to PP increased the crystallization temperature (Tc) of PP by 14 °C and 10 °C for the laboratory scale extruder and 16-mm extruder, respectively, confirming the nucleation of PP by GNPs. The degree of crystallinity (Xc%) of PP increased slightly at low GNP additions (≤0.3 wt %), but then decreased with increasing GNP content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Piezo-Resistive Materials by Combination of PP, SEBS and Graphene
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020037
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract
The use of polyolefins in structural components requires the simultaneous improvement of stiffness and toughness of the matrix, whilst in the case of sensing components during operation, additional functions are needed such as electrical conductivity. However, providing various desired properties without impairing those [...] Read more.
The use of polyolefins in structural components requires the simultaneous improvement of stiffness and toughness of the matrix, whilst in the case of sensing components during operation, additional functions are needed such as electrical conductivity. However, providing various desired properties without impairing those intrinsic to the materials can be somewhat challenging. In this study we report the preparation of an isotactic polypropylene (iPP)/styrene–ethylene–butylene–styrene triblock copolymer (SEBS)/graphene system that combines enhanced mechanical properties with electrical conductivity. Blends were prepared by solution mixing (SoM) and solution/solid state mixing (SoM/SSM) formulation routes prior to melt processing. The nanocomposites were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and the electrical and mechanical properties were evaluated. The materials prepared via the SoM/SSM route displayed good electrical conductivity while retaining the mechanical properties of iPP, making them attractive materials for low cost and high throughput structural components with sensing capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Composite Films of Waterborne Polyurethane and Few-Layer Graphene—Enhancing Barrier, Mechanical, and Electrical Properties
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3020035
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract
Graphene has excellent mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. Graphene can serve as potential reinforcement in polymer-based nanocomposites. In order to achieve this goal, graphene has to be distributed homogeneously and dispersed throughout the polymer matrix, establishing a strong interface with the polymer. Solution [...] Read more.
Graphene has excellent mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. Graphene can serve as potential reinforcement in polymer-based nanocomposites. In order to achieve this goal, graphene has to be distributed homogeneously and dispersed throughout the polymer matrix, establishing a strong interface with the polymer. Solution mixing is an interesting method for the preparation of homogeneous nanocomposites, in particular when using environmentally friendly solvents such as water. The major difficulty met in the production of graphene/polymer composites concerns the preparation and stabilization of graphene in aqueous suspension. In the present work three different graphite-based materials, with different crystallinity and purity grades, were exfoliated in aqueous solution of an amphiphilic pyrene derivative, forming few-layer graphene (FLG). The FLG prepared was dispersed in waterborne polyurethane (WPU) to produce composite films. The composite films were produced by solvent casting and spray coating, forming free-standing films that were characterized in terms of its distribution of FLG through the composite, its permeability to water vapor, its electrical resistivity, and its mechanical properties. The studies demonstrated the influence of different factors on the composite film properties such as the use of graphite vs. FLG, the FLG lateral dimensions, and the FLG composition and composite preparation method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Mechanical Properties of Graphene/Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Hierarchical Polymer Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3010030
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Conventional carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) have extensively been used as structural elements in a myriad of sectors due to their superior mechanical properties, low weight and ease of processing. However, the relatively weak compression and interlaminar properties of these composites limit their applications. [...] Read more.
Conventional carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) have extensively been used as structural elements in a myriad of sectors due to their superior mechanical properties, low weight and ease of processing. However, the relatively weak compression and interlaminar properties of these composites limit their applications. Interest is, therefore, growing in the development of hierarchical or multiscale composites, in which, a nanoscale filler reinforcement is utilized to alleviate the existing limitations associated with the matrix-dominated properties. In this work, the fabrication and characterization of hierarchical composites are analyzed through the inclusion of graphene to conventional CFRP by vacuum-assisted resin infusion molding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Wear Behavior of Copper–Graphite Composites Processed by Field-Assisted Hot Pressing
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3010029
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Copper–graphite composites with 0–4 wt % graphite were fabricated by field-assisted hot pressing with the aim of studying the effect of graphite content on microhardness and tribological properties. Experimental results reveal that hardness decreases with the graphite content. Wear testing was carried out [...] Read more.
Copper–graphite composites with 0–4 wt % graphite were fabricated by field-assisted hot pressing with the aim of studying the effect of graphite content on microhardness and tribological properties. Experimental results reveal that hardness decreases with the graphite content. Wear testing was carried out using a ball-on-disc tribometer with a normal load of 8 N at a constant sliding velocity of 0.16 m/s. The friction coefficient of composites decreases significantly from 0.92 to 0.29 with the increase in graphite content, resulting in a friction coefficient for the 4 wt % graphite composite that is 68.5% lower than pure copper. The wear rate first increases when the graphite content is 1 wt %; it then decreases as the graphite content is further increased until a certain critical threshold concentration of graphite, which seems to be around 3 wt %. Plastic deformation in conjunction with some oxidative wear is the wear mechanism observed in pure copper, while abrasive wear is the main wear mechanism in copper–graphite composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Atomic Structure and Mechanical Properties of Twisted Bilayer Graphene
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3010002
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 23 December 2018
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Abstract
We studied the atomic structure and mechanical properties of twisted bilayer graphene with a different twist angle using molecular dynamic simulations. The two layers are corrugated after energy minimization. We found two different modes of corrugation. The mechanical properties are tested both in-plane [...] Read more.
We studied the atomic structure and mechanical properties of twisted bilayer graphene with a different twist angle using molecular dynamic simulations. The two layers are corrugated after energy minimization. We found two different modes of corrugation. The mechanical properties are tested both in-plane and perpendicular to the plane. The in-plane properties are dominated by the orientation of graphene. The perpendicular properties depend on the twist angle, as the larger the twist angle, the higher the intrinsic strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Graphene-based Nanocomposites)
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