Carbon can form different allotropes due to its tetravalency. Different forms of carbon such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers, graphene, fullerenes, and carbon black can be used as nanofillers in order to enhance the properties of polymer nanocomposites. These carbon nanomaterials are of interest in nanocomposites research and other applications due to their excellent properties, such as high Young's Modulus, tensile strength, electrical conductivity, and specific surface area. However, there are some flaws that can be found in the carbon nanoparticles such as tendency to agglomerate, insoluble in aqueous or organic solvents or being unreactive with the polymer surface. In this study, the aim is to study functionalization in order to rectify some of these shortcomings by attaching different functional groups or particles to the surface of these carbon nanoparticles; this also enables the synthesis of high-performance polymer nanocomposites. The main findings include the effects of functionalization on carbon nanoparticles and the applications of polymer nanocomposites with carbon nanoparticles as nanofillers in the industry. Additionally, the different methods used to produce polymer composites such as in situ polymerization, solution mixing and melt blending are studied, as these methods involve the dispersion of carbon nanofillers within the polymer matrix.
This work was conducted to investigate the effect of carbon nanotube (CNT) on the mechanical-physico properties of the electron beam irradiated polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) blends. The increasing of CNT amount up to 1.5 part per hundred resin (phr) has gradually improved tensile strength and Young's modulus of PVOH/CNT nanocomposites due to effective interlocking effect of CNT particles in PVOH matrix, as evident in SEM observation. However, further increments of CNT, amounting up to 2 phr, has significantly decreased the tensile strength and Young's modulus of PVOH/CNT nanocomposits due to the CNT agglomeration at higher loading level. Irradiation was found to effectively improve the tensile strength of PVOH/CNT nanocomposites by inducing the interfacial adhesion effect between CNT particles and PVOH matrix. This was further verified by the decrement values of d-spacing of the deflection peak. The increasing of CNT amounts from 0.5 phr to 1 phr has marginally induced the wavenumber of O-H stretching, which indicates the weakening of hydrogen bonding in PVOH matrix. However, further increase in CNT amounts up to 2 phr was observed to reduce the wavenumber of O-H stretching due to poor interaction effect between CNT and PVOH matrix. Electron beam irradiation was found to induce the melting temperature of all PVOH/CNT nanocomposite by inducing the crosslinked networks.