Polymer, Vol.47, No.1, 113-122, 2006
In situ polymerization approach to multiwalled carbon nanotubes-reinforced nylon 1010 composites: Mechanical properties and crystallization behavior
A series of polyamide 1010 (PA1010 or nylon 1010) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) composites were prepared by in situ polymerization of carboxylic acid-functionalized MWNTs (MWNT-COOH) and nylon monomer salts. Mechanical tensile tests and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) show that the Young modulus increases as the content of the nanotubes increases. Compared with pure PA1010, the Young's modulus and the storage modulus of MWNTs/PA1010 in situ composites are significantly improved by ca. 87.3% and 197% (at 0 degrees C), respectively, when the content of MWNTs is 30.0 wt%. The elongation at break of MWNTs/PA1010 composites decreases with increasing proportion of MWNTs. For the composites containing 1.0 wt% MWNTs, the Young modulus increases by ca. 27.4%, while the elongation at break only decreases by ca. 5.4% as compared with pure PA1010 prepared under the same experimental conditions. Compared with mechanical blending of MWNTs with pure PA1010, the in situ-prepared composites exhibit a much higher Young's modulus, indicating that the in situ polycondensation method improves mechanical strength of nanocomposites. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging showed that MWNTs on the fractured surfaces of the composites are uniformly dispersed and exhibit strong interfacial adhesion with the polymer matrix. Moreover, unique crystallization and melting behaviors for MWNTs/PA 1010 in situ composites are observed using a combination of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction methods. It was shown that only the alpha-form crystals are observed in our MWNTs/PA1010 in situ composites. This result is quite different from PA1010/montmorillonite and PA6-clay composites, where both of alpha- and gamma-form crystals were found. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.