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Elastomer composites based on carbon nanotubes and ionic liquid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-400
Number of pages34
JournalRubber Chemistry and Technology
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are known for excellent electrical conductivity and high elastic modulus. But difficulties arise in realizing their potential in matrices due to their existence in the form of aggregates or agglomerates. A simplified mixing technique using ionic liquid (IL) was developed to improve the dispersion of CNTs in elastomers. At first, CNTswere modified using an IL, 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazolium-bis-(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)-imide in a mortar and pestle, and later, the modified tubes were incorporated into elastomers using a two-roll mill. The effect of modified tubes and IL on polar polychloroprene and nonpolar solution styrene butadiene rubber is studied. Enhanced dispersion and networking of CNTs can be achieved using this technique, based on which highly conducting composites were developed. Moreover, the composites with modified CNTs exhibited higher mechanical properties (tensile modulus, hardness) and thermal stability than the composites with unmodified CNTs. ILs are also found to have multifunctional roles (as antioxidants, as coupling agents) in the composites. The applications of composites with a particular focus on actuators and sensors are also discussed.