Effect of Graphite Nanoplate Morphology on the Dispersion and Physical Properties of Polycarbonate Based Composites
The influence of the morphology of industrial graphite nanoplate (GNP) materials on their dispersion in polycarbonate (PC) is studied. Three GNP morphology types were identified, namely lamellar, fragmented or compact structure. The dispersion evolution of all GNP types in PC is similar with varying melt temperature, screw speed, or mixing time during melt mixing. Increased shear stress reduces the size of GNP primary structures, whereby the GNP aspect ratio decreases. A significant GNP exfoliation to individual or few graphene layers could not be achieved under the selected melt mixing conditions. The resulting GNP macrodispersion depends on the individual GNP morphology, particle sizes and bulk density and is clearly reflected in the composite's electrical, thermal, mechanical, and gas barrier properties. Based on a comparison with carbon nanotubes (CNT) and carbon black (CB), CNT are recommended in regard to electrical conductivity, whereas, for thermal conductive or gas barrier application, GNP is preferred.