A new method for pre-impregnating nickel coated carbon fiber with a thermoplastic polymer to make towpreg, similar to a recently developed coating-line by João P. Nunes et al and a new electrically conductive thermoplastic are developed. A melted bath was used to help mitigate health concerns and waste for dispersion of nickel coated carbon fibers (NCF) in low density polyethylene (LDPE). This towpreg was then mixed with more LDPE or a mixture of LDPE and nickel nanostrands (NiNS) to a desired filler volume fraction to test the electrical conductivity of the composite. Some of these mixtures were then injection molded and tested again for conductivity as well as tensile and impact strength and compared to each other and the non-injection molded samples. It was found that mixing NiNS into the polymer in addition to NCF created a more conductive part than with NCF alone, in a couple orders of magnitude. Also, the shorter the NCF were, the greater the contribution of the NiNS to the electrical properties of the NCF filled material. The tensile strength was increased by adding the NCF and NiNS, while the impact strength (toughness) decreased.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Whitworth, David Anthony, "Processing a Nickel Nanostrand and Nickel Coated Carbon Fiber Filled Conductive Polyethylene by Injection Molding" (2010). All Theses and Dissertations. 2329.
David A. Whitworth, NCF, nickel coated carbon fiber, nickel nanostrands, conductive polymer, conductive plastic, towpreg, injection molding, NNS, NiNS, volume, resistivity