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Functionalization and Characterization of Carbon Nanotubes/ Polypropylene Nanocomposite

Authors: Mokhtar Awang, Wei-Vern Hor, Ehsan Mohammadpour, M Zaki Abdullah, Faiz Ahmad


Chemical and physical functionalization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) has been commonly practiced to achieve better dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in polymer matrix. This work describes various functionalization methods (acidtreatment, non-ionic surfactant treatment with TritonX-100), fabrication of MWCNT/PP nanocomposites via melt blending and characterization of mechanical properties. Microscopy analysis (FESEM, TEM, XPS) showed effective purification of MWCNTs under acid treatment, and better dispersion under both chemical and physical functionalization techniques combined, in their respective order. Tensile tests showed increase in tensile strength for the nanocomposites that contain MWCNTs up to 2 wt%. A decrease in tensile strength was seen in samples that contain 4 wt% of MWCNTs for both raw and Triton X-100 functionalized, signifying MWCNT degradation/rebundling at composition with higher content of MWCNTs. For the acid-treated MWCNTs, however, the tensile results showed slight improvement even at 4wt%, indicating effective dispersion of MWCNTs.

Keywords: Multi walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), functionalization, dispersion, nanocomposite

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