Thermal, mechanical and rheological behaviors of nanocomposites based on UHMWPE/paraffin oil/carbon nanofiller obtained by using different dispersion techniques.
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VISCO, A., YOUSEF, S., GALTIERI, G., NOCITA, D., PISTONE, A. and NJUGUNA, J. 2016. Thermal, mechanical and rheological behaviors of nanocomposites based on UHMWPE/paraffin oil/carbon nanofiller obtained by using different dispersion techniques. JOM [online], 68(4), pages 1078-1089. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-016-1845-x
Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a very attractive polymer employed as a high performance material. For its high viscosity, dispersion of fillers is considered a critical point in UHMWPE nanocomposites preparation process. Currently, paraffin oil (PO) is used extensively to overcome this issue in an assisted melt-mixing process. In this work, we have prepared nanocomposites based on UHMWPE, carbon nanofiller (CNF) and PO mixed by different mixing methods: magnetic stirring, ball milling (BM), ultrasonic and Mini-Lab extruder (EX). The aim of this work was to check the effect of the dispersion method on the mechanical and thermal features of UHMWPE/CNF nano composites in order to obtain a material with improved mechanical and physical properties. The samples were characterized by calorimetric, density, mechanical tensile and rheological analyses. Experimental results highlighted that the nanocomposites produced by EX and BM exhibits the best dispersion, good filler matrix interaction and had significantly improved mechanical properties compared to pure UHMWPE. For instance, for the BM method, the yield strength improved to 18.6 MPa (+96%), the yield strain improved by 60%, while stress at break improved by 13%. In summary, the EX improved the stiffness while the BM produced better ductility, melting temperature and the crystalline degree of the nanocomposites.