COMPOSITES SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.70, no.14, pp.2102-2110, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
In this study, electrical conductivity of a vinyl ester based composite containing low content (0.05, 0.1 and 0.3 wt.%) of double and multi-walled carbon nanotubes with and without amine functional groups (DWCNTs, MWCNTs, DWCNT-NH2 and MWCNT-NH2) was investigated. The composite with pristine MWCNTs was found to exhibit the highest electrical conductivity. Experiments aimed to induce an aligned conductive network with application of an alternating current (AC) electric field during cure were carried out on the resin suspensions with MWCNTs. Formation of electric anisotropy within the composite was verified. Light microscopy (LM), scanning electron (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were conducted to visualize dispersion state and the extent of alignment of MWCNTs within the polymer cured with and without application of the electric field. To gain a better understanding of electric field induced effects, glass transition temperature (T-g) of the composites was measured via Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). It was determined that at 0.05 wt.% loading rate of MWCNTs, the composites, cured with application of the AC electric field, possessed a higher T-g than the composites cured without application of the AC electric field. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.