Synergistic effects of carbon fillers in electrically and thermally conductive liquid crystal polymer based resins

Document Type


Publication Date



Adding conductive carbon fillers to insulating thermoplastic resins increases composite electrical and thermal conductivity. Often, as much of a single type of carbon filler is added to achieve the desired conductivity, while still allowing the material to be molded into a bipolar plate for a fuel cell. In this study, varying amounts of three different carbons (carbon black, synthetic graphite particles, and carbon fiber) were added to Vectra A950RX Liquid Crystal Polymer. The resulting single filler composites were tested for electrical resistivity (1/electrical conductivity) and thermal conductivity. In addition, the effects of single fillers and combinations of two different carbon fillers were studied via a factorial design. The results indicated that for the composites containing only single fillers, synthetic graphite, followed by carbon fiber, cause a statistically significant decrease in composite electrical resistivity. Composites containing only synthetic graphite, followed by carbon black, and then carbon fiber cause a statistically significant increase in thermal conductivity. For the combinations of two different fillers, the composites containing carbon black/synthetic graphite and synthetic graphite/carbon fiber had a statistically significant and positive effect on thermal conductivity. It is possible that thermally conductive pathways are formed that "link" these carbon fillers, which results in increased composite thermal conductivity. © 2008 Society of Plastics Engineers.

Publication Title

Polymer Composites