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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2017, Article ID 6758127, 9 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/6758127
Research Article

Electrical, Thermal, and Morphological Properties of Poly(ethylene terephthalate)-Graphite Nanoplatelets Nanocomposites

1Material Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia
2Materials Science Centre and North West Composites Centre, School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Grosvenor Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
3Water and Energy Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence should be addressed to Basheer A. Alshammari; as.ude.tscak@irammahsb

Received 8 May 2017; Revised 10 August 2017; Accepted 14 August 2017; Published 23 October 2017

Academic Editor: Bernabé L. Rivas

Copyright © 2017 Basheer A. Alshammari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Graphite nanoplatelets (GNP) were incorporated with poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix by melt-compounding technique using minilab compounder to produce PET-GNP nanocomposites, and then the extruded nanocomposites were compressed using compression molding to obtain films of 1 mm thickness. Percolation threshold value was determined using percolation theory. The electrical conductivity, morphology, and thermal behaviors of these nanocomposites were investigated at different contents of GNP, that is, below, around, and above its percolation threshold value. The results demonstrated that the addition of GNP at loading >5 wt.% made electrically conductive nanocomposites. An excellent electrical conductivity of ~1 S/m was obtained at 15 wt.% of GNP loading. The nanocomposites showed a typical insulator-conductor transition with a percolation threshold value of 5.7 wt.% of GNP. In addition, increasing screw speed enhanced the conductivity of the nanocomposites above its threshold value by ~2.5 orders of magnitude; this behavior is attributed to improved dispersion of these nanoparticles into the PET matrix. Microscopies results exhibited no indication of aggregations at 2 wt.% of GNP; however, some rolling up at 6 wt.% of GNP contents was observed, indicating that a conductive network has been formed, whereas more agglomeration and rolling up could be seen as the GNP content is increased in the PET matrix. These agglomerations reduced their aspect ratio and then reduced their reinforcement efficiency. NP loading (>2 wt.%) increased degree of crystallinity and improved thermal stability of matrix slightly, suggesting that 2 wt.% of GNP is more than enough to nucleate the matrix.