A Study of Mechanical Behavior and Morphology of Carbon Nanotube Reinforced UHMWPE/Nylon 6 Hybrid Polymer Nanocomposite Fiber

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Fibers and Polymers




We report a phenomenal increase in strength, modulus, and fracture strain of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber by 103 %, 219 %, and 108 %, respectively through hybridizing this fiber with Nylon 6 as a minor phase and simultaneously reinforcing it with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Loading of Nylon 6 and SWCNTs into UHMWPE was 20.0 wt% and 2.0 wt%, respectively. Hybridized fibers were processed using a solution spinning method coupled with melt mixing and extrusion. We claim that the enhancement in strain-to-failure of the nanocomposites is due to induced plasticity in the hybridized Nylon 6-UHMWPE polymers. The enhancement in strength and stiffness in the nanocomposites is attributed to the load sharing of the SWCNTs during deformation. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) studies showed that changes in percent crystallinity, rate of crystallization, crystallite size, alignment of nanotubes, sliding of polymer interfaces and strong adhesion of CNT/polymer blends were responsible for such enhancements.