Modification of carbon nanotubes by a novel biomimetic approach towards the enhancement of the mechanical properties of polyurethane
Date of Issue2016
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Energy Research Institute
Polyurethane (PU) nanocomposites incorporated with polydopamine treated carbon nanotubes (PDA-CNTs) were prepared by solution casting method via in-situ polymerization, achieving excellent CNTs dispersion in the PU matrix. It was observed that, with a loading of only 0.3 wt%, the tensile modulus and tensile strength were increased by 40% and 100% respectively. This reinforcement even exceeded the predicted modulus by Halpin–Tsai model. It indicates extremely enhanced interfacial interaction between the fillers and the matrix. More interestingly, it was found that the incorporation of PDA-CNTs caused a significant change in the degree of phase separation in the PU matrix leading to a unique network-like structure which is responsible for the unexpected reinforcement effect. This understanding combining with the synthetic approach should be useful for future design of PU/CNTs nanocomposites for wide range of applications.
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Polymer, Elsevier. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2016.03.085].