Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Characterization of poly(para-phenylene)-MWCNT solvent-cast composites

1 University of Wyoming, Mechanical Engineering Department, Laramie, WY, USA
2 University of Colorado at Denver, Mechanical Engineering Department, Denver, CO, USA

Topical Section: Advanced composites

Poly(para-phenylene) (PPP) is one of the strongest and stiffest thermoplastic polymers due to its aromatic backbone structure. However, because of this chemistry, this also means that typical processing techniques require high temperatures and pressures to allow for formability. This study demonstrates that, unlike similar aromatic thermoplastics, PPP has the unique ability to be solvent-cast using conventional solvents, which allows for facile fabrication of thin films and coatings under ambient conditions. The purpose of this research was to investigate the properties of solvent-cast PPP, which is not currently available in literature. In addition, through the solvent-casting technique, composite materials can be created by combining PPP with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in attempts to enhance structural properties and electrical conductivity. A method was developed for solvent-casting of PPP through chloroform evaporation and subsequent methanol soaking, resulting in homogenous average thicknesses of 0.10 ± 0.04 mm. Mechanical testing of solvent-cast PPP resulted in an elastic modulus of 4.2 ± 0.2 GPa with 13 ± 2.3% strain-to-failure. The addition of MWCNT reinforcement increased ultimate tensile strength at the expense of ductility. Composites maintained a yielding response up to 6 vol.% of MWCNTs, which also corresponded to the largest strength values observed. Ultimate tensile strength increased from 96 MPa from the matrix to a maximum of 121 MPa. Electrical conductivity of the composites increased from 4.5 × 10−6 to 1.02 × 10−3 S/cm from 3 to 20 vol.% MWCNTs, although values plateau at 5 vol.%.
  Article Metrics

Keywords carbon nanotubes; nanocomposites; poly(para-phenylene); solvent casting; electron microscopy, tensile testing, conductivity

Citation: Stephan A. Brinckmann, Nishant Lakhera, Chris M. Laursen, Christopher Yakacki, Carl P. Frick. Characterization of poly(para-phenylene)-MWCNT solvent-cast composites. AIMS Materials Science, 2018, 5(2): 301-319. doi: 10.3934/matersci.2018.2.301


  • 1. Nunes JP, Silva JF, Velosa JC, et al. (2009) New thermoplastic matrix composites for demanding applications. Plast Rubber Compos 38: 167–172.    
  • 2. Dean D, Husband M, Trimmer M (1998) Time–temperature-dependent behavior of a substituted poly(paraphenylene): Tensile, creep, and dynamic mechanical properties in the glassy state. J Polym Sci Pol Phys 36: 2971–2979.
  • 3. Friedrich K, Burkhart T, Almajid AA, et al. (2010) Poly-Para-Phenylene-Copolymer (PPP): A High-Strength Polymer with Interesting Mechanical and Tribological Properties. Int J Polym Mater Po 59: 680–692.    
  • 4. Frick CP, DiRienzo AL, Hoyt AJ, et al. (2014) High-strength poly(para-phenylene) as an orthopedic biomaterial. J Biomed Mater Res A 102: 3122–3129.    
  • 5. Hoyt AJ, Yakacki CM, Fertig III RS, et al. (2015) Monotonic and cyclic loading behavior of porous scaffolds made from poly(para-phenylene) for orthopedic applications. J Mech Behav Biomed 41: 136–148.    
  • 6. DiRienzo AL, Yakacki CM, Frensemeier M, et al. (2014) Porous poly(para-phenylene) scaffolds for load-bearing orthopedic applications. J Mech Behav Biomed 30: 347–357.    
  • 7. Collins DA, Yakacki CM, Lightbody D, et al. (2016) Shape-memory behavior of high-strength amorphous thermoplastic poly(para-phenylene). J Appl Polym Sci 133: 1–10.
  • 8. Almajid A, Friedrich K, Noll A, et al. (2013) Poly-para-phenylene-copolymers (PPP) for extrusion and injection moulding Part 1——molecular and rheological differences. Plast Rubber Compos 42: 123–128.    
  • 9. Pei X, Friedrich K (2012) Sliding wear properties of PEEK, PBI and PPP. Wear 274–275: 452–455.
  • 10. Ma Y, Cong P, Chen H, et al. (2015) Mechanical and Tribological Properties of Self-Reinforced Polyphenylene Sulfide Composites. J Macromol Sci B 54: 1169–1182.    
  • 11. Ribeiro B, Pipes RB, Costa ML, et al. (2017) Electrical and rheological percolation behavior of multiwalled carbon nanotube-reinforced poly(phenylene sulfide) composites. J Compos Mater 51: 199–208.    
  • 12. Mahat KB, Alarifi I, Alharbi A, et al. (2016) Effects of UV Light on Mechanical Properties of Carbon Fiber Reinforced PPS Thermoplastic Composites. Macromol Symp 365: 157–168.    
  • 13. Kuo MC, Huang JC, Chen M, et al. (2003) Fabrication of High Performance Magnesium/Carbon-Fiber/PEEK Laminated Composites. Mater Trans 44: 1613–1619.    
  • 14. Martin AC, Lakhera N, DiRienzo AL, et al. (2013) Amorphous-to-crystalline transition of Polyetheretherketone-carbon nanotube composites via resistive heating. Compos Sci Technol 89: 110–119.    
  • 15. Garcia-Gonzalez D, Rusinek A, Jankowiak T, et al. (2015) Mechanical impact behavior of polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK). Compos Struct 124: 88–99.    
  • 16. Bishop MT, Karasz FE, Russo PS, et al. (1985) Solubility and Properties of a Poly(aryl ether ketone) in Strong Acids. Macromolecules 18: 86–93.    
  • 17. Shukla D, Negi YS, Kumar V (2013) Modification of Poly(ether ether ketone) Polymer for Fuel Cell Application. J Appl Chem 2013.
  • 18. Wang X, Li Z, Zhang M, et al. (2017) Preparation of a polyphenylene sulfide membrane from a ternary polymer/solvent/non-solvent system by thermally induced phase separation. RSC Adv 7: 10503–10516.    
  • 19. Natori I, Natori S, Sekikawa H, et al. (2008) Synthesis of soluble poly(para-phenylene) with a long polymer chain: Characteristics of regioregular poly(1,4-phenylene). J Polym Sci Pol Chem 46: 5223–5231.    
  • 20. Marvel CS, Hartzell GE (1959) Preparation and Aromatization of Poly-1,3-cyclohexadiene1. J Am Chem Soc 81: 448–452.    
  • 21. Cochet M, Maser WK, Benito AM, et al. (2001) Synthesis of a new polyaniline/nanotube composite: "in-situ" polymerisation and charge transfer through site-selective interaction. Chem Commun 1450–1451.
  • 22. Olifirov LK, Kaloshkin SD, Zhang D (2017) Study of thermal conductivity and stress-strain compression behavior of epoxy composites highly filled with Al and Al/f-MWCNT obtained by high-energy ball milling. Compos Part A-Appl S 101: 344–352.    
  • 23. Overney G, Zhong W, Tomanek D (1993) Structural rigidity and low frequency vibrational modes of long carbon tubules. Z Phys D-Atoms, Molecules and Clusters 27: 93–96.    
  • 24. Spitalsky Z, Tasis D, Papagelis K, et al. (2010) Carbon nanotube-polymer composites: Chemistry, processing, mechanical and electrical properties. Prog Polym Sci 35: 357–401.    
  • 25. Khare R, Bose S (2005) Carbon Nanotube Based Composites——A Review. J Min Mater Charact Eng 4: 31–46.
  • 26. Schadler LS, Giannaris SC, Ajayan PM (1998) Load transfer in carbon nanotube epoxy composites. Appl Phys Lett 73: 3842–3844.    
  • 27. Frankland SJV, Caglar A, Brenner DW, et al. (2002) Molecular simulation of the influence of chemical cross-links on the shear strength of carbon nanotube-polymer interfaces. J Phys Chem B 106: 3046–3048.    
  • 28. Tsuda T, Ogasawara T, Deng F, et al. (2011) Direct measurements of interfacial shear strength of multi-walled carbon nanotube/PEEK composite using a nano-pullout method. Compos Sci Technol 71: 1295–1300.    
  • 29. Calvert P (1999) Nanotube Composites: A recipe for strength. Nature 399: 210–211.    
  • 30. Tasis D, Tagmatarchis N, Bianco A, et al. (2006) Chemistry of carbon nanotubes. Chem Rev 106: 1105–1136.    
  • 31. Ma PC, Siddiqui NA, Marom G, et al. (2010) Dispersion and functionalization of carbon nanotubes for polymer-based nanocomposites: A review. Compos Part A-Appl S 41: 1345–1367.    
  • 32. Grady BP (2010) Recent developments concerning the dispersion of carbon nanotubes in polymers. Macromol Rapid Comm 31: 247–257.    
  • 33. Jyoti J, Babal AS, Sharma S, et al. (2018) Significant improvement in static and dynamic mechanical properties of graphene oxide-carbon nanotube acrylonitrile butadiene styrene hybrid composites. J Mater Sci 53: 2520–2536.    
  • 34. Song YS, Youn JR (2005) Influence of dispersion states of carbon nanotubes on physical properties of epoxy nanocomposites. Carbon 43: 1378–1385.    
  • 35. Shi DL, Feng XQ, Huang YY, et al. (2004) The effect of nanotube waviness and agglomeration on the elastic property of carbon nanotube-reinforced composites. J Eng Mater-T ASME 126: 250–257.    
  • 36. Fiedler B, Gojny FH, Wichmann MHG, et al. (2006) Fundamental aspects of nano-reinforced composites. Compos Sci Technol 66: 3115–3125.    
  • 37. Strano MS, Dyke CA, Usrey ML, et al. (2003) Electronic structure control of single-walled carbon nanotube functionalization. Science 301: 1519–1522.    
  • 38. Banerjee S, Kahn MGC, Wong SS (2003) Rational chemical strategies for carbon nanotube functionalization. Chem-Eur J 9: 1898–1908.    
  • 39. Yang K, Gu M, Guo Y, et al. (2009) Effects of carbon nanotube functionalization on the mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy composites. Carbon 47: 1723–1737.    
  • 40. Sahoo NG, Rana S, Cho JW, et al. (2010) Polymer nanocomposites based on functionalized carbon nanotubes. Prog Polym Sci 35: 837–867.    
  • 41. Silva JF, Nunes JP, Velosa JC, et al. (2010) Thermoplastic matrix towpreg production. Adv Polym Tech 29: 80–85.    
  • 42. Vuorinen A (2010) Rigid Rod Polymers Fillers in Acrylic Denture and Dental Adhesive Resin Systems.
  • 43. Kwok N, Hahn HT (2007) Resistance heating for self-healing composites. J Compos Mater 41: 1635–1654.    
  • 44. Delzeit L, Nguyen CV, Chen B, et al. (2002) Multiwalled carbon nanotubes by chemical vapor deposition using multilayered metal catalysts. J Phys Chem B 106: 5629–5635.    
  • 45. Caneba G (2010) Product Materials, In: Free-radical retrograde-precipitation polymerization (FRRPP): novel concept, processes, materials, and energy aspects, Springer Science & Business Media, 199–252.
  • 46. Xu Z, Wan L, Huang X (2009) Surface Modification by Graft Polymerization, In: Surface Engineering of Polymer Membranes. Advanced Topics in Science and Technology in China, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 80–149.
  • 47. Kubo T, Im J, Wang X, et al. (2014) Solvent induced nanostructure formation in polymer thin films: The impact of oxidation and solvent. Colloid Surface A 444: 217–225.    
  • 48. Ajayan PM, Stephan O, Colliex C, et al. (1994) Aligned carbon nanotube arrays formed by cutting a polymer resin-nanotube composite. Science 265: 1212–1214.    
  • 49. Haggenmueller R, Gommans HH, Rinzler AG, et al. (2000) Aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes in composites by melt processing methods. Chem Phys Lett 330: 219–225.    
  • 50. Puglia D, Valentini L, Kenny JM (2003) Analysis of the cure reaction of carbon nanotubes/epoxy resin composites through thermal analysis and Raman spectroscopy. J Appl Polym Sci 88: 452–458.    
  • 51. Park C, Ounaies Z, Watson KA, et al. (2002) Dispersion of single wall carbon nanotubes by in situ polymerization under sonication. Chem Phys Lett 364: 303–308.    
  • 52. Qian D, Dickey EC, Andrews R, et al. (2000) Load transfer and deformation mechanisms in carbon nanotube-polystyrene composites. Appl Phys Lett 76: 2868–2870.    
  • 53. Allaoui A, Bai S, Cheng HM, et al. (2002) Mechanical and electrical properties of a MWNT/epoxy composite. Compos Sci Technol 62: 1993–1998.    
  • 54. Ajayan PM, Schadler LS, Giannaris C, et al. (2000) Single-walled carbon nanotube–polymer composites: strength and weakness. Adv Mater 12: 750–753.    
  • 55. Li Y, Zhang H, Porwal H, et al. (2017) Mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of in-situ exfoliated graphene/epoxy nanocomposites. Compos Part A-Appl S 95: 229–236.    
  • 56. Zhang Y, Park SJ (2017) Enhanced interfacial interaction by grafting carboxylated-macromolecular chains on nanodiamond surfaces for epoxy-based thermosets. J Polym Sci Pol Phys 55: 1890–1898.    
  • 57. Zhang Y, Rhee KY, Park SJ (2017) Nanodiamond nanocluster-decorated graphene oxide/epoxy nanocomposites with enhanced mechanical behavior and thermal stability. Compos Part B-Eng 114: 111–120.    
  • 58. Sharmila TKB, Antony JV, Jayakrishnan MP, et al. (2016) Mechanical, thermal and dielectric properties of hybrid composites of epoxy and reduced graphene oxide/iron oxide. Mater Design 90: 66–75.    
  • 59. Shaffer MSP, Windle AH (1999) Fabrication and characterization of carbon nanotube/poly(vinyl alcohol) composites. Adv Mater 11: 937–941.    
  • 60. Rizzatti MR, De Araujo MA, Livi RP (1995) Bulk and surface modifications of insulating poly(paraphenylene sulphide) films by ion bombardment. Surf Coat Tech 70: 197–202.    
  • 61. Liu Y, Gao L (2005) A study of the electrical properties of carbon nanotube-NiFe2O4 composites: Effect of the surface treatment of the carbon nanotubes. Carbon 43: 47–52.    
  • 62. Park OK, Jeevananda T, Kim NH, et al. (2009) Effects of surface modification on the dispersion and electrical conductivity of carbon nanotube/polyaniline composites. Scripta Mater 60: 551–554.    


Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2018 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved