The effect of ultra-thin graphite on the morphology and physical properties of thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer composites

Autores UPV


Composites of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and ultra-thin graphite (UTG) with concentrations ranging from 0.5. wt.% to 3. wt.% were prepared using a solution compounding strategy. Substantial reinforcing effects with increased loadings are achieved. Compared to neat TPU, values for storage modulus and shear viscosity are enhanced by 300% and 150%, respectively, for UTG concentrations of 3. wt.%. Additionally, an enhancement of thermal properties is accomplished. The crystallization temperature and thermal stability increased by 30. °C and 10. °C, respectively, compared to neat TPU. Furthermore, the use of oxidized UTG (UTGO) with its added functional oxygen groups suggests the presence of chemical interactions between UTG and TPU, which additionally impact on the thermal properties of the corresponding composites. Controlling the oxidation degree, thus offers further possibilities to obtain composites with tailored properties. The presented approach is straightforward, leads to homogeneous TPU-UTG composites with improved materials properties and is especially suitable for commercial UTG materials and further up-scaled production. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.