Manufacturing Tough Amorphous Thermoplastic-Graphene Nanocomposites

S. Bandla, J.C. Hanan
Oklahoma State University, US

Keywords: nanocomposites, processing, graphene


Nanocomposites have been studied for more than two decades because of their superior performance in comparison with traditional composites. However, few products made using nanocomposites are available commercially. Achieving uniform dispersion in the polymer matrix, unknowns in manufacturing, and characterization costs remain significant constraints for large scale production. The objective of this work is to develop a defect free industrial scale manufacturing process for making nanocomposites. In this work, we present new tough void free nanocomposities loaded up to 1 %wt graphene from an improved scalable process using high speed industrial scale injection molding equipment. Nanocomposites obtained from this process were inspected for voids using X-ray micro-Computed Tomography (µ-CT). They showed improved mechanical performance compared with the previously reported composites. Furthermore, dispersion studies using electron microscope and XRD analysis have been used to understand the extent of dispersion achieved during the two stage mixing process. The outcome of this work will help in understanding the issues for new breakthroughs with large scale processing of nanocomposites.