Polyamide-6-based composites reinforced with pristine or functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes produced using melt extrusion technique
Polyamide-6-based composites with pristine or functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes were produced using melt extrusion technique. After chemical functionalization, defect formation and attachment of carboxylic (−COOH) or amine (−NH2) groups on carbon nanotubes was confirmed from high-resolution transmission electron microscope and Fourier transform infra-red spectroscope studies. Carbon nanotubes incorporation promoted growth of α-form crystals with enhanced thermal stability through increase in crystallization temperature from 162 to 192℃. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) indirectly pointed out to a homogeneous, uniform dispersion of nanotubes with reduction in free volume of the polymer, exhibiting a slight increase in glass transition temperature and a significant drop in coefficient of thermal expansion value. Composites containing 0.5 wt% NH2-carbon nanotubes show increases in elastic modulus and tensile strength by ∼60 and 76%, respectively. Uniform dispersion and high interfacial strength was manifested by drop in strain to failure and lack of evidence of carbon nanotubes debonding from the matrix.