Mechanically robust nanocomposites from screen-printable polymer/graphene nanosheet pastes
Innovative methods for producing graphene-based polymer nanocomposites with excellent mechanical robustness have become a focus for their practical utilization, existing solutions suffer from drawbacks such as limited laboratory-scale fabrication, affordability, and inadequate processability. To address these issues, we proposed a screen printing approach utilizing formulated graphene-modified water-based printable pastes to achieve inexpensive and scalable manufacturing of graphene-reinforced polymer nanocomposites. Leveraging this simple and versatile manufacturing process, mass production, as well as personalized-patterned bulk materials, can be efficiently produced using easily obtainable substrates. The surface-tailored graphene (PEI-rGO) can improve the dispersion quality and strengthen the interfacial bonding with a waterborne polyurethane (WPU) matrix, yielding an optimized enhancement effect and enhancing the tensile strength and Young's modulus about 9.46 and 19.8 times higher than those of the pure WPU, respectively. In particular, their utility as an anti-wear modifier through direct printing on textile and wear-reduction performance were investigated. Our study establishes screen printing as a general strategy to achieve facile fabrication of polymer nanocomposites at an industrial-scale in an economically viable manner, which can to a great extent bridge the gap between scientific research and real-world applications.