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Simultaneously improving the mechanical and electrical properties of poly(vinyl alcohol) composites by high-quality graphitic nanoribbons

Yang, Ming, Weng, Lin, Zhu, Hanxing, Zhang, Fan, Fan, Tongxiang and Zhang, Di 2017. Simultaneously improving the mechanical and electrical properties of poly(vinyl alcohol) composites by high-quality graphitic nanoribbons. Scientific Reports 7 , 17137. 10.1038/s41598-017-17365-3

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Abstract

Although carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have shown great potential for enhancing the performance of polymer matrices, their reinforcement role still needs to be further improved. Here we implement a structural modification of multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) to fully utilize their fascinating mechanical and electrical properties via longitudinal splitting of MWCNTs into graphitic nanoribbons (GNRs). This nanofiller design strategy is advantageous for surface functionalization, strong interface adhesion as well as boosting the interfacial contact area without losing the intrinsic graphitic structure. The obtained GNRs have planar geometry, quasi-1D structure and high-quality crystallinity, which outperforms their tubular counterparts, delivering a superior load-bearing efficiency and conductive network for realizing a synchronous improvement of the mechanical and electrical properties of a PVA-based composite. Compared to PVA/CNTs, the tensile strength, Young’s modulus and electrical conductivity of the PVA/GNR composite at a filling concentration of 3.6 vol.% approach 119.1 MPa, 5.3 GPa and 2.4 × 10−4 S m−1, with increases of 17%, 32.5% and 5.9 folds, respectively. The correlated mechanics is further rationalized by finite element analysis, the generalized shear-lag theory and the fracture mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 December 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 November 2017
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 11:47
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/107606

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