Polymer, Vol.43, No.8, 2279-2286, 2002
Correlated electrical conductivity and mechanical property analysis of high-density polyethylene filled with graphite and carbon fiber
The development of conductive polymer composites remains an important endeavor in light of growing energy concerns. In the present work, graphite (G), carbon fiber (CF) and G/CF mixtures are added to high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to discern if mixed fillers afford appreciable advantages over single fillers. The effects of filler type and composition on electrical conductivity, composite morphology and mechanical properties have been examined and correlated to establish structure-property relationships. The threshold loading levels required for G and CF to achieve measurable conductivity in HDPE have been identified. Addition of CF to HDPE/G composites is found to increase the conductivity relative to that of HDPE/G composites at the same filler concentration. This observed increase depends on CF length and becomes more pronounced at and beyond the threshold loading of the HDPE/G composite. Scanning electron microscopy is employed to elucidate the morphology of these multicomponent composites, whereas dynamic mechanical analysis reveals that filler concentration, composition and CF length impact both the magnitude and temperature dependence of the dynamic storage modulus.