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Development of multifunctional nylon 6,6-based nanocomposites with high electrical and thermal conductivities by scalable melt and dry blending methods for automotive applications

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Materials Today Communications
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With the advent of intelligent automobile technology, the demand for multifunctional composites with higher electrical and thermal conductivities is increasing. We have herein reported for the first time the effect of polyolester on the dispersion of carbon nanotube (CNT) in the short-carbon fiber (CF)/nylon 6,6 (PA66) composite using a scalable melt-mixing and dry-blending method and its subsequent improvement in electrical and thermal conductivities. Masterbatches were prepared with a higher concentration of CNT (both untreated and polyolester-treated) followed by dry blended with reference composite (30 wt% CF and 10 wt% mineral fiber filled PA66) before making coupons via injection molding. A 500 % and 63 % improvements in electrical (3.14 S cm−1) and thermal conductivities (in-plane) (1.99 W m−1 K−1) conductivities were observed by adding 1.5 wt% treated CNT compared to the reference composite. The improvements were even higher than that of untreated CNT due to better dispersion. Furthermore, the electromagnetic shielding effectiveness reached 61 dB for 1.5 wt% treated CNT-filled composite (39 % enhancement). These results are significant in imparting multiple functionalities to the automotive composite parts.