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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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    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.