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Influence of Matrix Polarity on the Properties of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate–Carbon Nanofiller Nanocomposites

JinuJacob George and Anil K Bhowmick*

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 4:655-664  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9296-8

Published: 21 March 2009

Abstract (provisional)

A series of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) nanocomposites using four kinds of EVA with 40, 50, 60, and 70 wt% vinyl acetate (VA) contents and three different carbon-based nanofillers—expanded graphite (EG), multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), and carbon nanofiber (CNF) have been prepared via solution blending. The influence of the matrix polarity and the nature of nanofillers on the morphology and properties of EVA nanocomposites have been investigated. It is observed that the sample with lowest vinyl acetate content exhibits highest mechanical properties. However, the enhancement in mechanical properties with the incorporation of various nanofillers is the highest for EVA with high VA content. This trend has been followed in both dynamic mechanical properties and thermal conductivity of the nanocomposites. EVA copolymer undergoes a transition from partial to complete amorphousness between 40 and 50 wt% VA content, and this changes the dispersion of the nanofillers. The high VA-containing polymers show more affinity toward fillers due to the large free volume available and allow easy dispersion of nanofillers in the amorphous rubbery phase, as confirmed from the morphological studies. The thermal stability of the nanocomposites is also influenced by the type of nanofiller.

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