Effects of carbon fillers on tensile and flexural properties in polypropylene-based resins

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Department of Chemical Engineering


A potential application for conductive resins is in bipolar plates for use in fuel cells. The addition of carbon filler can increase the electrical and thermal conductivities of the polymer matrix but will also have an effect on the tensile and flexural properties, important for bipolar plates. In this research, three different types of carbon (carbon black, synthetic graphite, and carbon nanotubes) were added to polypropylene and the effects of these single fillers on the flexural and tensile properties were measured. All three carbon fillers caused an increase in the tensile and flexural modulus of the composite. The ultimate tensile and flexural strengths decreased with the addition of carbon black and synthetic graphite, but increased for carbon nanotubes/polypropylene composites due to the difference in the aspect ratio of this filler compared to carbon black and synthetic graphite. Finally, it was found that the Nielsen model gave the best prediction of the tensile modulus for the polypropylene based composites.

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Polymer Science