Mechanical Properties of Mwcnt/Elastomer Nanocomposites and the Cellulation Model 2009-01-0606
We fabricated NR matrix composites where multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were homogeneously dispersed, and their morphology, mechanical properties, and viscoelasticity were investigated. The incorporation of MWCNTs into NR matrix enhanced the tensile strength and the storage moduli of the composites, but the degree of enhancement was reduced when the dispersion of CNTs was not uniform. Even though left uncured, up to 250▪, MWCNT/NR composites with uniform dispersion remained non-fluid, and, at the same time, free of thermal decomposition caused by chain scission. These unusual thermal properties, comparable to those of cured MWCNT/NR composites, suggested a potential for the recycling of rubber products. These phenomena were assumed to have been caused by the ‘cellulation’ of the elastomer matrix of the composites, that is to say, the elastomer matrix had been divided into small units by the interfacial region formed around MWCNTs, and with this region having functioned as cell walls, NR matrix was confined in the ‘cells’. These numerous nano-cells were thought to have behaved individually and collectively.