Ultra-strong fibres by super drawing of gel-spun UHMWPE/SWCNT

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Proceedings title26th Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites 2011 and the 2nd Joint US-Canada Conference on Composites
Conference26th Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites 2011 and the 2nd Joint US-Canada Conference on Composites, 26 September 2011 through 28 September 2011, Montreal, QC
Pages788799; # of pages: 12
SubjectBreaking strain; Chemical bondings; Composite fibres; Diameter dependent; Elongation at break; Fibre strength; High performance material; High strength; High-energy absorption; High-performance fibres; Hong-kong; In-situ; Interfacial bonding; Interfacial compatibility; Load bearing; Load transfer efficiencies; Strength and toughness; Structure and properties; Theoretical strength; Thin layers; UHMWPE fibre; Chemical bonds; Elastic moduli; Fibers; Functional groups; Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCN); Plastic coatings; Polymers; Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylenes; Tensile strength
AbstractUHMWPE fibre is one of the most popular high performance fibres that have been widely used for load bearing and high-energy absorption applications. An examination of the theoretical strength of PE suggests that the strength of the state-of-the-art UHMWPE is still far from reaching its theoretical potential. The discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNT) has created promising opportunities for super high performance materials. A natural scientific enquiry is the feasibility of creating super strong fibres by reinforcing UHMWPE (ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene) with CNT. Several groups including the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Donghua University have explored the CNT/UHMWPE composite fibre concept. The Hong Kong group reported a 11.6%, 18.8% and 15.4% increase in tensile modulus, strength and strain respectively with the addition of 5% MWCNT (multi-wall carbon nanotube tube) in UHMWPE whereas the Donghua group reported an 8.88%, 1.34% and 14.1% increase in tensile modulus, strength and breaking strain respectively by the addition of 1% MWCNT. However, considering the theoretical strength of UHMWPE fibre and the reported range of CNT strength on the order of 30 to 180 GPa, the load transfer efficiency from CNT to the matrix is still far from being fully realized. This may be attributed to the lack of strong chemical bonding between the CNT and UHMWPE matrix. To address the weak fibre-matrix interface issue a thin layer of polymer (grafted and in situ polymerized PS) was coated on to SWCNT(single-wall carbon nanotube) surface with desired functional groups, which were further reacted with PE-g-GMA for additional interfacial compatibility. The polymer coated SWCNT-PE composite was successfully gel-spun and super drawn (as high as DR=100). The strength of the gel-spun fibres was shown to be diameter dependent following a classical exponential relationship. It was found that the critical fibre diameter to achieve high strength appears to be below 15 micron. Fibre strength as high as 6.7 GPa was produced with elongation at break of 18%o. This remarkable combination of strength and toughness implied significant improvement of interfacial bonding between SWCNT and UHMWPE and that the strength of individual SWCNT could be as high as 75GPa (in the 1 middle range 30GPa to 180GPa as reported in the literature). The processing, structure and properties of the super strong UHMWPE/SWCNT composite fibres are reported in this paper.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences (SIMS-ISSM)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271127
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Record identifier52993f6b-016b-4779-9e14-d6029e7ac7ff
Record created2014-03-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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