Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Mujibur Khan

Committee Member 1

Ermias Koricho

Committee Member 2

Mingzhi Xu


Ultra‐high‐molecular‐weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) nano-composite fibers were fabricated through Gel extrusion process, consisting of Polymer-coated Multi‐walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) embedded in fiber matrix. The MWCNTs were coated with a combination of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) through sonication processing. This coating acts as a surfactant and can enhance mechanical properties and the even dispersion of CNTs in the base polymer matrix by reducing aggregation and promoting interfacial adhesion with the fiber matrix. Tensile testing of fibers containing the combination PVDF and PVP‐coated MWCNTs showed substantial improvements in the tensile strength, modulus and fracture strain, that of 7.35±0.82 and 60±1 GPa with 45.17±23% strain. The MWCNT’s used had an average diameter of 15nm to 30nm and after coating this diameter was increased to an average of 120nm to 140nm thickness witnessed by us of the Scanning electron microscope (SEM). Digital microscopy imaging of the polymer composite fibers showed a decrease in average diameter from 50 microns to that of 5-10 micron from extrusion to testing through strain hardening processing. Increase in CNT dispersion, polymer crystallinity, and molecular chain alignment along the direction of fiber extrusion and crack bridging of the fiber by nanotubes were also observed using SEM, EDS, and DSC.

Research Data and Supplementary Material