Electrical conductivity modeling of carbon black/polycarbonate, carbon nanotube/polycarbonate, and exfoliated graphite nanoplatelet/polycarbonate composites

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Adding conductive carbon fillers to electrically insulating thermoplastic polymers increases the resulting composite's electrical conductivity, which would enable them to be used in electrostatic dissipative and semiconductive applications. In this study, varying amounts of carbon black (CB: 2 to 10 wt %), multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNT: 0.5 to 8 wt %), or exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets (GNP: 2 to 15 wt %) were added to polycarbonate (PC) and the resulting composites were tested for electrical conductivity (EC = 1/electrical resistivity). The percolation threshold was â 1.2 vol % CNT, â 2.4 vol % CB, and â 4.6 vol % GNP. In addition, three EC models (Mamunya, additive, and general effective media) were developed for the CB/PC, CNT/PC, and GNP/PC composites. The general effective media (GEM) model showed the best agreement with the experimental results over the entire range of filler concentrations (above and below the percolation threshold) for all three composite systems. In addition, the GEM model can be easily adapted for composites containing combinations of different conductive fillers. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Journal of Applied Polymer Science