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Mechanical, Thermal and Morphological Characterization of Polycarbonate/Oxidized Carbon Nanofiber Composites Produced with a Lean 2-Step Manufacturing Process

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In this study we report the advantages of a 2-step method that incorporates an additional process pre-conditioning step for rapid and precise blending of the constituents prior to the commonly used melt compounding method for preparing polycarbonate/oxidized carbon nanofiber composites. This additional step (equivalent to a manufacturing cell) involves the formation of a highly concentrated solid nano-nectar of polycarbonate/carbon nanofiber composite using a solution mixing process followed by melt mixing with pure polycarbonate. This combined method yields excellent dispersion and improved mechanical and thermal properties as compared to the 1-step melt mixing method. The test results indicated that inclusion of carbon nanofibers into composites via the 2-step method resulted in dramatically reduced (∼48% lower) coefficient of thermal expansion compared to that of pure polycarbonate and ∼30% lower than that from the 1-step processing, at the same loading of 1.0 wt%. Improvements were also found in dynamic mechanical analysis and flexural mechanical properties. The 2-step approach is more precise and leads to better dispersion, higher quality, consistency, and improved performance in critical application areas. It is also consistent with Lean Manufacturing principles in which manufacturing cells are linked together using less of the key resources and creates a smoother production flow. Therefore, this 2-step process can be more attractive for industry.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-05-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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