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27 August 2003 Mechanical and thermal properties of carbon-nanotube-reinforced polymer composites
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In this research study carbon nanotubes were investigated as possible reinforcement agents to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of two different polymer matrix systems. The polymer matrices systems examined were polyvinyl alcohol and poly(9-vinyl cabazole). It was found by adding a range of mass fractions of carbon nanotubes that both Young's modulus and hardness as measured by nano-indentation increased dramatically for both matrices. Thermal properties were examined using differential scanning calorimetry and thermo gravimetric analysis. An increase of 82% in Young's modulus and 63% in hardness was observed for polyvinyl alcohol while adding approximately 1% by weight of multi walled carbon nanotubes. In the case of poly(9-vinyl cabazole) an increase of 200% in Young's modulus and 100% in hardness was achieved, by adding only 8% by weight of nanotubes. As far as the authors are aware this is the highest increase of mechanical properties observed when using carbon nanotube as a reinforcing agent. In addition the thermal properties varied significatly on introduction of the nanotubes. An increase of crystallinity was found for the semi-crystalline matrix, while a second phase appeared for the amorphous polymer when increasing the amount of multiwalled carbon nanotubes. Mechanical and thermal properties of the used polymer matrices could be significantly increased.
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Martin Cadek, Jonathan N. Coleman, Valerie Barron, Katrin Hedicke, and Werner J. Blau "Mechanical and thermal properties of carbon-nanotube-reinforced polymer composites", Proc. SPIE 4876, Opto-Ireland 2002: Optics and Photonics Technologies and Applications, (27 August 2003);

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