20 December 2006 Effect of sonication on the mechanical properties of poly (vinyl alcohol)/carbon nanotube composites
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Several sonication procedures were performed on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in water by varying the length of time, the output power and the type of sonicating horn. Depending on the sonicating conditions, the multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) could be well or poorly exfoliated and dispersed. Poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and MNWT (0.5 wt%) composites were cast from the PVA/MWNT aqueous mixture. Enhancement of the mechanical properties of the composites was related to two factors: (1) crystallinity formed at the PVA and MWNT interface and (2) the size of nanotube agglomerates. The poorly dispersed solution produced nanotube agglomerates with the size of 50-100 μm that did not induce crystallization at the polymer/nanotube interface. They became stress concentrators reducing the Young's modulus and the tensile strength. Optimized sonication procedures resulted in well-dispersed nanotube agglomerates of submicron dimensions efficiently enhancing the mechanical properties. As centrifugation facilitated the removal of large agglomerates, noticeable enhancement of mechanical properties of the composites was achieved.
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Van-Tan Truong, Van-Tan Truong, Kelly M. C. Tsang, Kelly M. C. Tsang, Shannon J. Keough, Shannon J. Keough, Nigel A. St John, Nigel A. St John, } "Effect of sonication on the mechanical properties of poly (vinyl alcohol)/carbon nanotube composites", Proc. SPIE 6415, Micro- and Nanotechnology: Materials, Processes, Packaging, and Systems III, 641503 (20 December 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.695317; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.695317

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