Polymer, Vol.46, No.12, 4405-4420, 2005
Deformation-morphology correlations in electrically conductive carbon nanotube thermoplastic polyurethane nanocomposites
Addition of small amounts (0.5-10 vol%) of multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNT) to thermoplastic elastomer Morthane produced polymer nanocomposites with high electrical conductivity (σ &SIM; 1-10 S/cm), low electrical percolation (φ &SIM; 0.005) and enhancement of mechanical properties including increased modulus and yield stress without loss of the ability to stretch the elastomer above 1000% before rupture. In situ X-ray scattering during deformation indicated that these mechanical enhancements arise not only from the CNTs, but also from their impact on soft-segment crystallization. The deformation behavior after yielding of the nanocomposites, irrespective of CNT concentration, is similar to the unfilled elastomer, implying that the mechanistics of large deformation is mainly governed by the matrix. The relative enhancement of the Young's modulus of the nanocomposites is comparable to other elastomeric nanocomposites, implying that to the first order specific chemical details of the elastomeric system is unimportant. © 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd.