Conductive poly(vinylidene fluoride)/polyethylene/graphene
blend-nanocomposites: Relationship between rheology,
morphology, and electrical conductivity
M. K. Razavi Aghjeh ,
M. Salami Kalajahi,
A. Jameie Oskooie
Institute of Polymeric Materials, Sahand University of Technology, P.C:51335-1996, Sahand New Town, Tabriz, Iran
Faculty of Polymer Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, P.C:51335-1996, Sahand New Town, Tabriz, Iran
Chemical Engineering Department, Sahand University of Technology, P.C:51335-1996, Sahand New Town, Tabriz, Iran
Correspondence to: M. K. Razavi Aghjeh (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Relationship between rheology, morphology, and electrical conductivity of the poly(vinylidene fluoride)/polyethylene/gra-
phene nano-platelets ternary system (PVDF/PE/GnP) were investigated. All the blend nanocomposites were prepared via a two-step
melt mixing method. GnP (0.75 and 1.5 wt %) was first compounded with PVDF and then the resulted premixtuers were melt mixed
with PE to achieve the desired compositions. The corresponding reference nanocomposites and filler-less blends were also prepared.
Effect of an interfacial agent (PEMA; maleic anhydride grafted polyethylene) was also studied in this work. The results of rheological
analysis in conjunction with the Raman spectroscopy experiments revealed that GnP had higher affinity to PVDF than PE, which in
turn led to creation of conductive networks of GnP (1.5 wt %) in PVDF matrix exhibiting the electrical conductivity of about 10
(S/cm). Double percolated micro-structure was predicted for the PE/PVDF 40/60 (wt/wt) blend containing low GnP content (0.9 wt
%) and confirmed via direct electron microscopy and conductivity analysis. Using 5 wt % of the PEMA reduced the conductivity to
(S/cm) and further increase in PEMA content to 10 wt % led to non-conductive characteristics. The latter was attributed to the
migration of GnP from the PVDF phase to PE/PEMA phase and hence disturbance of double percolated micro-structure.
Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2018, 135, 46333.
conductivity; graphene; morphology; PE/PVDF blend; rheology
Received 31 October 2017; accepted 3 February 2018
Most of the polymers are known as electrically insulating mate-
The conductive polymer composites are prepared through
compounding of insulating host polymers with various conduc-
tive fillers, that is, carbon black (CB), carbon nanotube (CNT),
graphene, and so forth.
It is known that to achieve a conduc-
tive network throughout the polymer matrix, a critical filler
concentration is required. This critical concentration, known as
percolation threshold concentration, depends directly on the
aspect ratio of the filler and its inherent conductivity. Moreover,
the state of dispersion and distribution of the conductive fillers
in polymer matrices has influential effect on the percolation
concentration and hence on the conductivity of the resulting
On the other hand, dispersion and distribution
of the fillers are strongly affected by the processing
Many attempts have been made to reduce the percolation con-
centration of the fillers to preserve the mechanical and
rheological properties of the conductive polymeric composites,
as well as to lower the final cost of the resulted materials.
Using the concept of “double percolation” is a new trend and
strategy to reduce the percolation threshold concentration. Dou-
ble percolation is referred to a microstructure in which the filler
resides in continuous phase of an immiscible blend or at the
interphase of a blend with co-continuous morphology, resulting
to percolation of the filler at lower concentrations than that in
one phase polymeric systems.
was first introduced by Sumita et al.
has been studied by
P€otschke et al.
for polycarbonate (PC)/polyethylene (PE)/CNT
and by Gubbels et al.
for PE/polystyrene (PS)/CB ternary sys-
tems. Yuan et al.
reported a double percolated structure of
multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) in low density poly-
ethylene (LDPE)/poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) blends,
where the filler was exclusively distributed and percolated
within the LDPE phase, creating electrically conductive chan-
nels. Such a double percolated structure displayed significant
lower percolation threshold of the filler.
2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
J. APPL. POLYM. SCI. 2018, DOI: 10.1002/APP.46333
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