Mechanical and electrical properties of high performance MWCNT/polycarbonate composites prepared by an industrial viable twin screw extruder with back flow channel†
High performance multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) reinforced polycarbonate (PC) composites were prepared using an industrially viable fast dispersion process by a micro twin screw extruder with back flow channel and their mechanical and electrical properties were investigated for EMI shielding applications. A uniformly dispersed MWCNT/PC composite system was observed through SEM and TEM investigations. Incorporation of a small amount of MWCNT (2 wt%) led to enhancements in the tensile strength (up to 79.6 MPa) and flexural strength (up to 110 MPa), which were equivalent to 19.6% and 14.6% increases over the neat PC. The effect of MWCNTs on the failure mechanism of the PC under tensile loading showed a ductile to brittle transition with increasing concentration of MWCNTs. The results of enhanced mechanical properties were well supported by micro Raman spectroscopic studies. In addition to the mechanical properties, significant improvement in the electrical conductivity (0.01 S cm−1 at 10 wt% MWCNT) of these composites was observed which yielded the EMI shielding of −27.2 dB in the Ku band suggesting their possible use as a high strength EMI shielding material.