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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 327597, 10 pages
Research Article

Enhanced Strain-Dependent Electrical Resistance of Polyurethane Composites with Embedded Oxidized Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Networks

1Centre of Polymer Systems, University Institute, Tomas Bata University, Nad Ovcirnou 3685, 760 01 Zlin, Czech Republic
2Balikesir University, Faculty of Necatibey Education, Department of Secondary Science and Mathematics Education, 10100 Balikesir, Turkey
3Tomas Bata University, Faculty of Technology, Polymer Centre, TGM 275, 760 01 Zlin, Czech Republic
4Institute of Hydrodynamics, Academy of Sciences, Pod Patankou 30/5, 166 12 Prague 6, Czech Republic

Received 15 March 2013; Accepted 18 August 2013

Academic Editor: Sulin Zhang

Copyright © 2013 R. Benlikaya 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.


The effect of different chemical oxidation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes with H2O2, HNO3, and KMnO4 on the change of electrical resistance of polyurethane composites with embedded oxidized nanotube networks subjected to elongation and bending has been studied. The testing has shown about twenty-fold increase in the electrical resistance for the composite prepared from KMnO4 oxidized nanotubes in comparison to the composites prepared from the pristine and other oxidized nanotubes. The evaluated sensitivity of KMnO4 treated composite in terms of the gauge factor increases with strain to nearly 175 at the strain 11%. This is a substantial increase, which ranks the composite prepared from KMnO4 oxidized nanotubes among materials as strain gauges with the highest electromechanical sensitivity. The observed differences in electromechanical properties of the composites are discussed on basis of their structure which is examined by the measurements of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscope. The possible practical use of the composites is demonstrated by monitoring of elbow joint flexion during two different physical exercises.