Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 15, 2021

Basic Study of Extensional Flow Mixing for the Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes in Polypropylene by Using Capillary Extrusion

K. Matsumoto and T. Tanaka

Abstract

This study evaluated the mixing effect of simple uniaxial extensional flow for the dispersion of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into polypropylene (PP) as a nonpolar matrix. An only converging flow allowed for a high strain rate and was suitable for the compounding process. The extensional flow was characterized from the entrance pressure drop (ΔP0) at the converging section. Thus, in this study, capillary extrusion was employed to generate uniaxial extensional flow. Based on the hypothesis that the dispersion of nanofillers depends on the magnitude of flow-induced stress, ΔP0, which related to extensional stress, was measured directly during capillary extrusion by using an orifice die. The influences of the mass flow rate and the hole diameter in the orifice die, which affected ΔP0, on the extrusion of PP nanocomposites with an MWCNT loading of 1.0 wt.% were studied. The extruded samples were collected, and the dispersion state was evaluated based on the melt viscoelastic properties, volume resistivity, and morphological observations by optical microscopy (OM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The agglomeration area of the MWCNTs decreased with higher ΔP0 (higher mass flow rate and smaller hole diameter), which increased the uniformity of the dispersion. Moreover, the influence of the length-to-diameter (L/D) ratio of the hole in the capillary die on the dispersion state of the MWCNTs was investigated. A higher L/D ratio of the capillary die did not improve the dispersion state, although shear and extensional stresses were provided.

Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by a (advanced technological) research project in the Research and Development Center for Advanced Composite Materials of Doshisha University and the MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan)-Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 20132017, project S1311036.

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Received: 2020-08-16
Accepted: 2021-01-15
Published Online: 2021-09-15
Published in Print: 2021-09-27

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