Effect of high temperature, biaxial stretching on the thermal and mechanical properties of HDPE/MWCNT sheet

David Linton, Eileen Harkin-Jones, Dong Xiang

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Abstract

High density polyethylene (HDPE)/multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) composites containing 4 wt% MWCNTs were prepared by melt mixing followed by compression moulding into sheet. Compression moulded sheets were heated to just below the melting temperature and biaxially stretched at ratios (SRs) of 2, 2.5 and 3.0. The effect of stretching on the thermal and mechanical properties of the sheet was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and tensile testing. DSC results show that the crystallinity of all the stretched samples increases by approximately 13% due to strain induced crystallization. The melting temperature of the biaxially stretched samples increases only slightly while crystallization temperature is not affected. Tensile test results indicate that at a SR of 2.5 the elastic modulus of the stretched composites increases by 17.6% relative to the virgin HDPE, but the breaking strength decreases by 33%. While the elastic modulus and breaking strength of the HDPE/MWCNT samples continue to increase as SR increases they drop off after a SR of 2.5 for the virgin HDPE. This is probably due to the constraining influence of the nanotubes preventing the relaxation of polymer chains caused by adiabatic heating at high SRs. The addition of MWCNTs results in significant strain hardening during deformation. While this will lead to increased energy requirement in forming it will also result in a more stable process and the ability to produce deep draw containers with more uniform wall thickness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)070007
Number of pages5
JournalAIP CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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