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Study of Dynamic Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) Carbon Nanotubes
The effect of polyetherimide (PEI) as a compatibilizing agent on the morphology, thermal, electrical and dynamic-mechanical properties of poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK)/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) nanocomposites, has been investigated for different CNT loadings. After a pre-processing step based on ball milling and premixing under mechanical treatments in ethanol, the samples were prepared by melt extrusion. A more homogeneous distribution of the CNTs throughout the matrix is found for composites containing PEI, as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. Thermogravimetric analysis demonstrates an increase in the matrix degradation temperatures under dry air and nitrogen atmospheres with the addition of SWCNTs; the level of thermal stability of these nanocomposites is maintained when PEI is incorporated. Both differential scanning calorimetry and synchrotron x-ray scattering studies indicate a slight decrease in the crystallization temperatures of the compatibilized samples, and suggest the existence of reorganization phenomena during the heating, that are favoured in the composites incorporating the compatibilizer, due to their smaller crystal size. Dynamic mechanical studies show an increase in the glass transition temperature of the nanocomposites upon the addition of PEI. Furthermore, the presence of PEI causes an enhancement in the storage modulus, and hence in the rigidity of these systems, attributed to an improved interfacial adhesion between the reinforcement and the matrix. Finally, the electrical and thermal conductivities of these composites were observed to decrease considerably with the incorporation of PEI.
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