L. Mondy, R. Mrozek, R. Rao, J. Lenhart, L. Bieg, S. Spangler, M. Stavig, J. Schroeder, M. Winter, C. Diantonio, R. Collins
May 5, 2015
Multilayer coextrusion is applied to produce a tape containing layers of alternating electrical properties to demonstrate the potential for using coextrusion to manufacture capacitors. To obtain the desired properties, we develop two filled polymer systems, one for conductive layers and one for dielectric layers. We describe numerical models used to help determine the material and processing parameters that impact processing and layer stability. These models help quantify the critical ratios of densities and viscosities of the two layers to maintain stable layers, as well as the effect of increasing the flow rate of one of the two materials. The conducting polymer is based on polystyrene filled with a blend of low-melting-point eutectic metal and nickel particulate filler, as described by Mrozek et al. (2010). The appropriate concentrations of fillers are determined by balancing measured conductivity with processability in a twin screw extruder. Based on results of the numerical models and estimates of the viscosity of emulsions and suspensions, a dielectric layer composed of polystyrene filled with barium titanate is formulated. Despite the fact that the density of the dielectric filler is less than the metallic filler of the conductive phase, as well as rheological measurements that later showed that the dielectric formulation is not an ideal match to the viscosity of the conductive material, the two materials can be successfully coextruded if the flow rates of the two materials are not identical. A measurable capacitance of the layered structure is obtained.