291944 Preparation and Characterization of PC and SAN Composites and PC/SAN Blends with Graphene Nanofiller

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Marc-Olivier Blais, Polymer Reactions and Blends, Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research, Dresden, Germany; Chemical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

The central goal of this study was to prepare a polymer blend with fine co-continuous blend morphology which contains well dispersed graphene nanofiller. Graphene is currently of great interest as a filler within the polymer nanocomposite community due to its excellent electrical conductivity, favorable mechanical properties, and high surface area. The polycarbonate (PC)/ Poly (styrene acrylonitrile) (SAN) blend system is of interest due to their ubiquitous use in both industrial and consumer applications and therefore we intend to incorporate graphene into this system. The selective localization behavior of carbon fillers in polymer blend systems has historically been of interest and to this end we will qualitatively assess the dispersion and localization of graphene nanofiller within PC/SAN blends systems as well as the transfer kinetics of the graphene between the two polymer phases. To achieve this goal, this study produced both homopolymer and polymer blend systems.  Initially, a set of samples was created which consisted of homopolymers (PC or SAN) containing graphene with appropriately adjusted weight loadings. These samples were used to assess the effect of different mixing parameters on the dispersion and agglomeration of the graphene. Three blend systems were also produced which consisted of PC (60wt%), SAN (40wt%), and xGnP5 (1wt%). These three systems were used to qualitatively assess the transfer kinetics of the graphene between the two phases.  The optimally dispersed sample from the homopolymer set was then incorporated with the partner polymer to produce the final PC (60wt%), SAN (40wt%), and xGnP5 (1wt%) blend product. The melt blending was performed using a DSM X-plore twin screw microcompounder and the morphological and transfer kinetics assessments were carried out using scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy as well as optical microscopy. The samples created using the highest mixing speed, longest mixing time, and smallest graphene nanoplatelets produced the more favorable dispersions.

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