Synthesis and Mechanical Characterization of High Density Polyethylene/Graphene Nanocomposites
The purpose of this work is to investigate the effects of graphene nanosheets (GNSs) addition on the mechanical and thermal properties of high density polyethylene (HDPE). The HDPE/Graphene nanocomposites were synthesized using solution blending approach. HDPE was incorporated with graphene nanosheets in a solvent at various weights of fractions (0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.5 wt%), and then the micro-hardness, elastic modulus, tensile strength, strain at break and thermal properties of the nanocomposites were measured and compared. The results showed that the use of Xylene solvent at high temperature combined with mechanical stirring can fully dissolve HDPE pellets. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) showed that GNSs were homogenously dispersed in the polyethylene matrix at low weights of fractions. The addition of just 0.2 wt% GNSs resulted in 100% increase in the micro-hardness value. The elastic modulus and tensile strength properties are proportionally increased with increasing GNSs content up to 0.4 wt%. However, at higher weight of fraction, a reduction in these properties is observed. The crystallinity and strain at break properties are reduced with the addition of GNSs.
Keywords:HDPE, polymer, graphene, nanocomposite, thermal, mechanical
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