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Carbon Nanotubes Composites: Processing, Grafting and Mechanical and Thermal Properties

Author(s): Ana L. Martinez-Hernandez, Carlos Velasco-Santos, Victor. M. Castano.

Abstract:

Carbon nanotubes represent one of the most important materials in nanoscience and nanotechnology today. The exceptional properties that these materials possess open new fields in science and engineering. Additionally, the chemistryassociated to these materials starts to play an important role, inasmuch, new moieties insert by different chemical routes, inside and outside of carbon nanotubes surfaces, have shown able to modify their structure and properties. To this date, new properties have been found in chemically-modified nanotubes and diverse potential applications are suggested for these materials. One of the most frequent applications for these carbon materials is their inclusion as reinforcement in polymer matrices, due to the amazing structural, mechanical, electrical, chemical and thermal properties that carbon nanotubes possess, suggesting that these materials are ideal to produce new polymer nanocomposites. In this context, carbon nanotube nanocomposites have been developed by numerous research groups around the world aiming to produce new novel strong and light composite materials. Also, electrical conductivity and thermal properties have been studied for this kind of nanocomposites. However, new challenges to create a new age of multifunctional composite materials with these nanometric forms arise and, therefore, the study of new properties in these nanocomposites has increased significantly in the last few years. In this review we discuss a range of methods to properly utilize nanotubes in poymer-based composites, from the solubility behavior of carbon nanotubes, the processing methods to develop carbon nanotube polymer composites, interactions produced between carbon nanotubes and polymer grafted, to the most recent results on the mechanical and thermal properties of carbon nanotubes polymer composites, synthesized with different types of carbon nanotubes. In addition, we discuss the effect of different chemical modifications on nanotubes, with special focus on those developed to improve the compatibility between these nanostructures and engineering polymers, as well as their effect on the final composites properties. The significance of understanding, enhancing and controlling the behavior at the interface between nanotubes and polymer matrices towards the development of novel multifunctional applications with these composites, is also discussed in detail.

Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, chemical functionalization, polymer nanocomposites, polymer grafting, mechanical properties, thermal properties

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Article Details

VOLUME: 6
ISSUE: 1
Year: 2010
Page: [12 - 39]
Pages: 28
DOI: 10.2174/157341310790226270