Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 46, Issue 17, pp 5680–5689 | Cite as

Manufacturing and physico-mechanical characterization of carbon nanohorns/polyacrylonitrile nanocomposites

  • Aneta Fraczek-Szczypta
  • Stanislaw BlazewiczEmail author


The use of carbon nanohorns (SWCNHs) as a modifying filler in a polyacrylonitrile (PAN) matrix is studied with the goal of elaborating nanocomposites. The study deals with assessment of the dispersity of SWCNHs in a PAN polymer suspension. The SWCNHs were introduced into the PAN-based suspension using different methods, including mechanical stirring, ultrasonification and the combination of ultrasonification with addition of a surfactant. Agglomeration and dispersion processes of SWCNH in the polymer suspensions were studied using DLS technique and turbidimetry. The resulting properties of nanocomposite foils after solidification in water ambient were verified in various tests. The mechanical tensile properties (tensile strength, modulus and strain to fracture) of the nanocomposites before and after the dispersion process were compared. The nanocomposites obtained under optimally prepared suspension perform the highest strain to fracture in tensile test. Electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity of nanocomposites samples after appropriate dispersion of SWCNHs in the PAN suspension were also determined. The presence of SWCNH in the PAN suspension affects the structure of nanocomposites after solidification through changing structural ordering of the polymer. The study revealed that the polymeric suspensions prepared in optimum processing conditions contain the carbon aggregates the size of which correspond almost to the mean size of a dahlia flower-like structured particle, i.e., 50–250 nm and it was not possible to separate such particles into a single form of carbon nanohorn by the techniques used.


Carbon Nanoparticles Polymer Suspension Dispersion Process Carbon Aggregate Carbon Nanohorns 



This study has been supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, project no NN 507402039.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Open AccessThis is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, Department of BiomaterialsAGH-University of Science and Technology in KrakowKrakowPoland

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