Article

Journal of Materials Science

, 44:3241

First online:

Synergistic effects in network formation and electrical properties of hybrid epoxy nanocomposites containing multi-wall carbon nanotubes and carbon black

  • Jan SumflethAffiliated withInstitute of Polymers and Composites, Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg Email author 
  • , Xavier Cordobes AdroherAffiliated withInstitute of Polymers and Composites, Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg
  • , Karl SchulteAffiliated withInstitute of Polymers and Composites, Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg

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Abstract

Epoxy nanocomposites including multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and carbon black (CB) were produced and investigated by means of electrical conductivity measurements and microscopical analysis. Varying the weight fraction of the nanoparticles, electrical percolation behaviour was studied. Due to synergistic effects in network formation and in charge transport the inclusion of both MWCNT and CB in the epoxy matrix leads to an identical electrical behaviour of this ternary nanocomposite system compared to the binary MWCNT-epoxy system. For both types of nanocomposites an electrical percolation threshold of around 0.025 wt% and 0.03 wt% was observed. Conversely, the binary CB nanocomposites exhibit a three-times higher percolation threshold of about 0.085 wt%. The difference between the binary MWCNT-epoxy and the ternary CB/MWCNT-epoxy in electrical conductivity at high filler concentrations (e.g. 0.5 wt%) turns out to be less than expected. Thus, a considerable amount of MWCNTs can be replaced by CB without changing the electrical properties.