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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
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    Development of joining methods for highly filled Graphite/PP composite based bipolar plates for fuel cells: Adhesive joining and welding
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2019) Rzeczkowski, P.; Lucia, M.; Müller, A.; Facklam, M.; Cohnen, A.; Schäfer, P.; Hopmann, C.; Hickmann, T.; Pötschke, Petra; Krause, Beate
    Novel material solutions for bipolar plates in fuel cells require adapted ways of joining and sealing technologies. Safe and life time enduring leak-tight contacts must be achieved by automatic processes using reasonable joint forces. A proper sealing should manage such challenges as good ageing properties, excellent leaktightness, high thermal conductivity and low gas permeability. Hence in this work, adhesive bonding and welding are considered as suitable methods, which can fulfill the requirements mentioned above. Adhesive systems seem to be more easy to apply than conventional sealing (hand layed-up rubber gaskets), e.g. with automatic dispensers. Additionally, the properties of an adhesive joint can be enhanced by a process-specific surface pre-treatment. This work focuses on the characterization of adhesive systems and their joints with highly filled graphite composites. Mechanical properties of the joints were characterized through lap-shear tests. The influence of ageing caused by humidity or acidic solvent at increased temperature on the bond line properties as well as neat adhesive was examined. The thermal conductivities of neat adhesives and through the entire joint were examined. In order to improve above conductivities, roughening, substrate pre-heating, post-curing and various contact pressure weights were applied. Plasma treatment was chosen as surface pre-treatment method for improving substrate's surface energy. An alternative to bonding is plastic welding, which does not require the use of sealants and adhesives. Based on former study of influences of filler content on the welding process using ultrasonic, hot plate or infrared welding, a welding method for joining the graphite compounds was derived.
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    Electrical and thermal conductivity of polypropylene filled with combinations of carbon fillers
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2016) Krause, Beate; Pötschke, Petra
    The thermal and electrical conductivity of polymer composites filled with a low content up to 7.5 vol% of different carbon fillers (carbon nanotubes, carbon fibers, graphite nanoplates) were investigated. It was found that the combination of two or three carbon fillers leads to an increase of thermal conductivity up to 193% which is higher than the sum of the effects of both fillers.
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    Polymer - Carbon nanotube composites for thermoelectric applications
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2017) Luo, J.; Krause, Beate; Pötschke, Petra
    The thermoelectric (TE) performance of electrically conductive thermoplastic composites prepared by melt mixing was investigated. A cost effective widely used in industry polymer, namely polypropylene (PP), was chosen as the matrix to fabricate the composites. Singlewalled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), the amount (2 wt%) of which was selected to be above the electrical percolation threshold (< 0.2 wt%), were used to form an electrical conducting network. Besides as-produced SWCNTs plasma modified tubes were employed to study the influence of the functionalization on the morphology, dispersion and TE properties of the PP composites. In addition, melt processing conditions, e.g. temperature, rotation speed, and time during mixing in a small-scale compounder were varied. Furthermore, an ionic liquid (IL, 1-methyl-3-octylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate) was used as a processing additive during melt mixing, which was confirmed to improve the electrical conductivity of the composites. Simultaneous increase in the Seebeck coefficient up to a value of 64 μV/K was recorded, leading to a much better power factor of 0.26 μW/(m·K2) compared to composites without IL. This melt mixing strategy opens new avenues for solvent-free, large scale fabrication of polymer based TE materials.
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    Melt mixed composites of polypropylene with singlewalled carbon nanotubes for thermoelectric applications: Switching from p- to n-type behavior by additive addition
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2019) Pötschke; Petra; Krause, Beate; Luo, Jinji
    Composites were prepared with polypropylene (PP) as the matrix and singlewalled CNTs (SWCNTs) of the type TUBALL from OCSiAl Ltd. as the conducting component by melt processing in a small-scale twin-screw compounder. In order to switch the typical p-type behavior of such composites from positive Seebeck coefficients (S) into n-type behavior with negative Seebeck coefficients, a non-ionic surfactant polyoxyethylene 20 cetyl ether (Brij58) was used and compared with a PEG additive, which was shown previously to be able to induce such switching. For PP-2 wt% SWCNT composites Brij58 is shown to result in n-type composites. The negative S values (up to −48.2 µV/K) are not as high as in the case of previous results using PEG (−56.6 µV/K). However, due to the more pronounced effect of Brij58 on the electrical conductivity, the achieved power factors are higher and reach a maximum of 0.144 µW/(m·K2) compared to previous 0.078 µW/(m·K2) with PEG. Dispersion improvement depends on the type of SWCNTs obtained by using varied synthesis/treatment conditions. Solution prepared composites of PEG with SWCNTs also have negative S values, indicating the donation of electrons from PEG to the SWCNTs. However, such composites are brittle and not suitable as thermoelectric materials.
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    PP/SWCNT composites modified with ionic liquid
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2017) Krause, Beate; Predtechenskiy, M.; Ilin, E.; Pötschke, Petra
    Polypropylene composites filled with singlewalled carbon nanotubes TUBALL® (SWCNTs) were studied with regard to the effect of ionic liquid (IL) addition in different SWCNT:IL ratios (1:0.5 - 1:6). The incorporation of IL leads to a decrease of the electrical percolation threshold and already at 0.025 wt% SWCNT loading reduced resistivity values can be observed. However, the SWCNT macro dispersion, already relatively good without IL, was not affected by the IL incorporation. In addition, the nucleation effect of the SWCNT in polypropylene is not influenced when simultaneously adding IL, whereas the crystallization enthalpy slightly decreases with its addition.
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    Development of a polymer composite with high electrical conductivity and improved impact strength for the application as bipolar plate
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2016) Hopmann, C.; Windeck, C.; Cohnen, A.; Onken, J.; Krause, Beate; Pötschke, Petra; Hickmann, T.
    Bipolar plates constitute the most important structural component in fuel cell stacks. Highly filled thermoplastic composites with high electrical conductivity obtain an increasing importance in the design of bipolar plates as alternative to conventional metallic systems. Thermoplastics (e.g. PP) have suitable properties such as a good processability, chemical resistance, light weight and low production costs. As thermoplastics have low electrical conductivities, conductive fillers have to be included in the matrix. A high content of such fillers (e.g. graphite) in excess of 80 wt.-% is necessary to achieve the desired electrical properties. However, materials with such high filler contents embrittle readily. The workability in injection and compression molding is difficult and the mechanical stability is insufficient in case of strain deformation. As consequence, material failure and an inacceptable amount of damaged goods can be observed during the processing. As no suitable thermoplastic system is available for better mechanical properties, the induction and dispersion of a rubber phase in the thermoplastic matrix can be used to increase the impact strength of the conductive composite. In this research work a ternary composite, based on PP as matrix, EPDM as impact modifier and synthetic graphite as conductive filler, was developed. The material was produced using a 26 mm co-rotating, intermeshing twin-screw extruder. The amounts of PP, EPDM and graphite were varied systematically and a process window was defined that enables improved impact strength and high electrical conductivity of the new material. The results indicate that impact strength can be enhanced by about 99 % with an EPDM content of 30 wt.-% in the PP matrix. The electrical conductivity decreases in a small range with increasing content of EPDM, but the conductivity is still excellent for producing bipolar plates.
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    Influence of mixing conditions on carbon nanotube shortening and curling in polycarbonate composites
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2017) Krause, Beate; Carval, J.; Pötschke, Petra
    Polycarbonate composites containing multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs, 0.2-2.0 wt%) were melt mixed in small scale at different conditions of screw speed and mixing time to vary the specific mechanical energy (SME) input between 0.4 and 4.0 kWh/kg. Next to the electrical properties of compression molded plates and the MWCNT macrodispersion also the nanotube length and shape were analyzed. For this, the matrix of the composites with 0.75 wt% MWCNT loading was dissolved and the remaining nanotubes were investigated using TEM. It was found that with increasing SME input the number of remaining CNT agglomerates decreases. The MWCNT length decreased from initially about 1.4 micrometers towards 350 nanometers at a SME of 4 kWh/kg and the mean curling values were also reduced. The electrical percolation threshold increases with SME from about 0.4 wt% to 0.6 wt%.
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    Improvement of electrical resistivity of highly filled graphite/pp composite based bipolar plates for fuel cells by addition of carbon black
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2019) Krause, Beate; Pötschke, Petra; Hickmann, Thorsten
    Novel material solutions for polymer based bipolar plates in fuel cells require adapted ways to develop suitable material compositions. The common pathway to develop materials with at the same time high electrical as well as thermal conductivity is the use of conductive graphite as filler with contents up to 80-85 wt.%. However, there is a need to develop recipes with maximized conductive behavior at lowest possible content of conductive filler to enhance the mechanical properties and allow good processability. In this study, composites based on polypropylene (PP) and different filler systems were melt-mixed using a lab scale co-rotating twin-screw extruder and compression molded to bipolar type plates. As fillers synthetic (G) or expanded (EG) graphites were incorporated. At the overall filler content of 60 wt.% or 80 wt% part of the graphite was replaced by highly conductive carbon black (CB, 2.5 wt.%, 5.0 wt.%). It was found that the addition of CB significantly reduced the electrical volume as well as the surface resistivity up to values of 0.12 Ωcm or 4 mΩ/square, respectively. For the values of thermal conductivity the kind and particle size of the selected graphite was important. If expanded graphite was partially replaced by CB, the thermal conductivity of PP/EG+CB composites decreased significantly. Otherwise, the combination of synthetic graphite and CB changed the thermal conductivity of PP composites only marginal at the same overall filler content. For both graphite types the filler with larger particle size resulted in higher thermal conductivity.
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    Thermal conductivity of hybrid filled HDPE nanocomposites
    (Melville, NY : AIP, 2017) Müller, M. T.; Krause, Beate; Kretzschmar, B.; Jahn, I.; Pötschke, Petra
    In this study composite materials based on high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with fillers containing nanostructures were prepared using melt mixing. Vapour Grown Carbon Fibers (VGCF), multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) of the types Baytubes® C150P and Nanocyl™ NC7000, anthracite powder, microsilica, organoclay and expanded graphite (EG) as well as mixtures of these fillers were used. The amount and mixing ratios of the hybrid filled systems have been varied to determine their effects on the achievable level of thermal conductivity as measured on compression molded plates. The filler dispersion and phase adhesion were studied using scanning electron microscopy. When limiting the maximum filler content to 10 wt%, the highest enhancement in thermal conductivity by 166% was found for VGCF followed by a 1:1 filler combination of VGCF with EG (148%).
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    Surface, interphase and tensile properties of unsized, sized and heat treated basalt fibres
    (London [u.a.] : Institute of Physics, 2016) Förster, T.; Sommer, G.S.; Mäder, E.; Scheffler, C.
    Recycling of fibre reinforced polymers is in the focus of several investigations. Chemical and thermal treatments of composites are the common ways to separate the reinforcing fibres from the polymer matrices. However, most sizings on glass and basalt fibre are not designed to resist high temperatures. Hence, a heat treatment might also lead to a sizing removal, a decrease of mechanical performance and deterioration in fibre-matrix adhesion. Different basalt fibres were investigated using surface analysis methods as well as single fibre tensile tests and single fibre pull-out tests in order to reveal the possible causes of these issues. Heat treatment in air reduced the fibre tensile strength in the same level like heat treatment in nitrogen atmosphere, but it influenced the wetting capability. Re-sizing by a coupling agent slightly increased the adhesion strength and reflected a decreased post-debonding friction.