291829 Production and Extraction of Graphene-Like Structures From Graphite Composite Made Via Solid State Shear Pulverization (SSSP)
<align="center">Production and Extraction of Graphene-like structures from Graphite Composite Made via Solid State Shear Pulverization (SSSP)
Kunga Chodar Dagpo, Advisor: Katsuyuki Wakabayashi
Department of Chemical Engineering
Individually exfoliated (separated) sheet form of graphite, termed graphene, is of great scientific and industrial interest because of its outstanding mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. The purpose of this research project was to explore the varying degrees of exfoliation that commercial grade graphite will undergo when processed with different polymers via solid-state shear pulverization (SSSP). Six different polymers (PS, PMMA, HDPE, LLDPE, SBS and PP) were chosen to be incorporated with 5 wt% graphite. We have successfully fabricated polymer-graphite composites and confirmed the graphite content using a thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) system. We proposed two methods of isolation of the exfoliated graphite filler from the composite, depending on the properties of the polymer. The first was to burn off the polymer and the second was to dissolve away the polymer using common solvents such as acetone and tetrahydrofuran. The obtained exfoliated graphite was run through X-ray diffraction (XRD) along with the original graphite filler and several other model exfoliated graphite fillers. The X-ray peaks and the width of the different samples were compared and it was observed that the burning method was more favorable for recovering exfoliated graphite than the dissolving method. The materials were also run through a BET surface area analysis, which revealed that some polymers helped exfoliated the graphite better than others. More tests are being conducted to strengthen the conclusions of the research.
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