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Comparison of the Electrical Properties of PS-PMMA-MWNT Composites Made by Three Different Fabrication Methods

  • Samual J. Wilson (a1) and Rosario A. Gerhardt (a2)


Polystyrene (PS), polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) were used to fabricate conductive nanocomposites using various mixing methods, followed by compression molding to analyze their electrical properties. The main objective of this research project was to evaluate how using different mixing techniques alter the composite microstructure and hence the properties of the resultant composite material. Three fabrication techniques were selected to be investigated: mechanical mixing, melt-mixing, and solution mixing. The concentration of the fillers was kept constant at 2 wt% MWNT to simplify comparisons. After mixing, the composite mixtures were compression molded at the same temperature of 180°C. It was found that each mixing method yielded uniquely different AC conductivity profiles which can be attributed to how the fabrication method used affected the arrangement of the CNTs in the composite structure. This newfound control of the electrical properties of the composite materials could definitely be useful to researchers because one can choose the proper fabrication technique based on what properties are desired.


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