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Production and investigation of mechanical properties of graphene/polystyrene nano composites

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Abstract

Working with pristine polystyrene is a great challenge due to its poor mechanical properties and is a massive task to utilize for packaging and structural applications. This study includes the analysis and optimization of tensile properties of graphene-polystyrene nanocomposites membrane to determine the reinforcing effect of nanofiller on tensile properties. The two-dimensional (2D) graphene sheets and samples of graphene-polystyrene nanocomposites were fabricated by liquid exfoliation and solution casting technique, respectively. Nanocomposites were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to evaluate their morphology, crystallographic phases, topography and thermal stability, respectively. Effect of filler concentration (0.06—0.74 wt. %), sonication time after mixing (3.18 – 36.82 min) and sonication temperature (16.48 – 58.52 ˚C) on ultimate tensile strength (UTS), percentage elongation and elastic modulus (E) were investigated and their responsive behavior was monitored respectively. In our experiment, it is shown that the concentration of graphene is a highly significant parameter. The optimized variables were found to be 0.60 wt. % of Graphene at 10 min of sonication time after mixing and 25 °C of sonication temperature. The obtained results demonstrate that the incorporation of graphene in the polystyrene matrix increases the mechanical properties of polystyrene. When compared with pristine polystyrene, the maximum increase witnessed in UTS, elongation and E was 97.36%, 82.70% and 174.08%, respectively.

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The raw data required to reproduce these findings are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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Funding

The authors gratefully acknowledge Higher Education Commission (HEC) Startup Research Grant Program for the approved grant with grant number 2367.

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Authors

Contributions

Yasir Raza: Investigation, Formal analysis, Methodology, Writing-Original Draft Hassan Raza: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Validation, Arslan Ahmad: Supervision, Conceptualization,Funding acquisition Moinuddin Mohammed Quazi: Formal Analysis, Review Editing Muhammad Abid: Funding acquisition, Resources Monis Raza Kazmi: Supervision. S.M Ashrafur Rahman: Formal analysis, Review-Editing Z.M. Zulfattah: Formal Analysis, Review-Editing I.M. Rizwanul Fattah: Formal analysis, Review-Editing.

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Correspondence to Arslan Ahmad.

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Raza, Y., Raza, H., Ahmad, A. et al. Production and investigation of mechanical properties of graphene/polystyrene nano composites. J Polym Res 28, 217 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10965-021-02560-8

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