Influence of functionalized exfoliated reduced graphene oxide nanoparticle localization on mechanical, thermal and electronic properties of nanobiocomposites

Orebotse Joseph Botlhoko, Suprakas Sinha Ray, James Ramontja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reports unique microstructural development and enhanced mechanical and thermal properties of a biodegradable polylactide (PLA)/poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) blend through selective localization of functionalized thermally exfoliated reduced graphene oxide (f-TERGO) particles in the dispersed PCL phase. We used batch melt-blending to produce the PLA/PCL/f-TERGO composites with matrix of PLA and PCL. With the addition of 0.05 and 0.1 wt% f-TERGO to the polymers, there was no significant change in the blend morphology; however, at 0.25 wt% f-TERGO loading the size of the dispersed phase increased. The impact strength increased from 6 kJ/m2 for neat PLA to 10 kJ/m2 for the 0.1 wt% f-TERGO composite, whereas the elongation-at-break increased from 5% for neat PLA to 90% for the 0.05 wt% f-TERGO-filled composite. The thermal conductivity of the composites moderately increased with f-TERGO addition, which was associated with an increased number of nucleation sites in the f-TERGO-containing composites, homogenous spherulite growth, and increased crystallization temperature of the PCL phase. Unlike TERGO, f-TERGO addition did not increase electrical resistivity, clearly due to the surface functionalization. This study demonstrates the possibility of enhancing the toughness, melt-viscosity, and thermal conductivity of PLA by blending it with PCL and f-TERGO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-140
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • Mechanical and thermal properties
  • Nanobiocomposite
  • Nanoparticles localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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