Surface modification of MWCNT to improve the mechanical and Thermal properties of natural rubber nanocomposites


Abstract: In this study, we focused on the synergistic effect between carbon black (CB) and multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) hybrid fillers. In particular, the surface modification of pristine MWCNT (P-MWCNT) via an acid (oxidation) treatment was used to improve their dispersion, as well as the mechanical and thermal properties of their corresponding natural rubber (NR)-based nanocomposites. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were carried out to determine the presence of functional groups on the oxidized MWCNT (O-MWCNT). After vulcanization, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), tensile properties, hardness, thermal conductivity, swelling behavior in toluene and SEM characterizations were performed on both NR/CB/P-MWCNT and NR/CB/O-MWCNT based nanocomposites. The results showed the positive effect of MWCNT surface oxidation on the fillers’ dispersion and nanocomposites' properties.