(533c) Preparation of Carbon Nanotube Composite Materials Using the Combination of Supercritical CO2 and Orientation Techniques
AIChE Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 9:20am to 9:45am
Carbon nanotube (CNT) composite materials are extremely attractive in various areas of technology due to the unique mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of CNTs, However, reaching a well-dispersed level and CNT orientation remain to be the main challenges. SEM reveals that the supercritical CO2 technique successfully dispersed entangled CNTs and helped to form a more aligned structure. The stiffness of CNTs/RADEL (polyphenylsulfone) composites prepared with the use of scCO2 is greatly improved relative to those prepared by means of direct melt compounding. The following orientation technique involved spinning and drawing the composite using a capillary rheometer. The combination of scCO2 and orientation technique further enhanced the composite mechanical properties significantly. The preliminary results show that Young's modulus and tensile strength increased 37% and 14%, respectively, for only 1wt% CNTs compared to the pure matrix material. This study will be extended to higher CNTs loadings and processing conditions will be improved to provide a higher degree of CNT orientation. Further characterization will be carried out.