Electrical and mechanical properties of aluminosilicate inorganic polymer composites with carbon nanotubes
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The DC electrical conductance of potassium aluminosilicate inorganic polymers (geopolymers) containing up to 6 wt% single-wall carbon nanotubes has been determined as a function of temperature up to 340 °C. After removal of the processing water during the first heating cycle, the conductance in subsequent heating cycles increases as a function of carbon nanotube content and temperature from 9.75 × 10−4 to 1.87 × 10−3 S m−1 in the composites containing 0 and 0.2 wt% carbon nanotubes, respectively, at 290 °C. By comparison, the electrical conductance of potassium inorganic polymer composites containing graphite was generally lower. The conductance activation energies of the carbon nanotube and graphite composites were similar, and decreased from about 55 to 5 kJ mole−1 with increasing carbon content. The tensile strengths of carbon nanotube and graphite-containing potassium geopolymer composites, determined by the Brazil method on 10–12 replicates, were about 2 MPa, and showed little change with increasing carbon nanotube content up to 0.3 wt%. By contrast, the tensile strengths of an analogous set of sodium composites were up to four times greater, possibly reflecting the necessity for less processing water in the synthesis of the sodium samples.
KeywordsCarbon Nanotubes Compressive Strength Geopolymer Spark Plasma Sinter Silicate Solution
We are indebted to Thomas Borrmann and Sigmar Roth for kindly supplying the high-quality SWCNTs, to David Flynn for assistance with the electron microscopy, to Ross Fletcher for assistance with the strength measurements and to Jeremie Barrel for advice on the electrical measurements. This work was supported by financial assistance from the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.
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