Carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer nanocomposites exhibit excellent electrical properties by forming a percolated network. Adding a secondary filler can significantly affect the CNTs’ network, resulting in changing the electrical properties. In this work, we investigated the effect of adding manganese dioxide nanowires (MnO2NWs) as a secondary nanofiller on the CNTs’ network structure inside a poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) matrix. Incorporating MnO2NWs to PVDF/CNT samples produced a better state of dispersion of CNTs, as corroborated by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The steady shear and oscillatory shear flows were employed to obtain a better insight into the nanofiller structure and viscoelastic behavior of the nanocomposites. The transient response under steady shear flow revealed that the stress overshoot of hybrid nanocomposites (two-fillers), PVDF/CNT/MnO2NWs, increased dramatically in comparison to binary nanocomposites (single-filler), PVDF/CNT and PVDF/MnO2NWs. This can be attributed to microstructural changes. Large amplitude oscillatory shear characterization was also performed to further investigate the effect of the secondary nanofiller on the nonlinear viscoelastic behavior of the samples. The nonlinear rheological observations were explained using quantitative nonlinear parameters [strain-stiffening ratio (S) and shear-thickening ratio (T)] and Lissajous-Bowditch plots. Results indicated that a more rigid nanofiller network was formed for the hybrid nanocomposites due to the better dispersion state of CNTs and this led to a more nonlinear viscoelastic behavior.
Application of nonlinear rheology to assess the effect of secondary nanofiller on network structure of hybrid polymer nanocomposites
Milad Kamkar, Ehsan Aliabadian, Ali Shayesteh Zeraati, Uttandaraman Sundararaj; Application of nonlinear rheology to assess the effect of secondary nanofiller on network structure of hybrid polymer nanocomposites. Physics of Fluids 1 February 2018; 30 (2): 023102. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5018863
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