3 years ago

Facile Fabrication of Electrically Conductive Low-Density Polyethylene/Carbon Fiber Tubes for Novel Smart Materials via Multiaxial Orientation

Facile
Fabrication of Electrically Conductive Low-Density Polyethylene/Carbon
Fiber Tubes for Novel Smart Materials via Multiaxial Orientation
Min Nie, Qi Wang, Yijun Li
Electromechanical sensors are indispensable components in functional devices and robotics application. However, the fabrication of the sensors still maintains a challenging issue that high percolation threshold and easy failure of conductive network are derived from uniaxial orientation of conductive fillers in practical melt processing. Herein, we reported a facile fabrication method to prepare a multiaxial low-density polyethylene (LDPE)/carbon fibers (CFs) tube with bidirectional controllable electrical conductivity and sensitive strain-responsive performance via rotation extrusion technology. The multidimensional helical flow is confirmed in the reverse rotation extrusion, and the CFs readily respond to the flow field leading to a multiaxial orientation in the LDPE matrix. In contrast to uniaxial LDPE/CF composites, which perform a “head to head” conjunction, multiaxial-orientated CF networks exhibit a unique multilayer structure in which the CFs with distinct orientation direction intersect in the interface, endowing the LDPE/CF composites with a low percolation threshold (15 wt %) to those of the uniaxial ones (∼35 wt %). The angles between two axes play a vital role in determining the density of the conductive networks in the interface, which is predominant in tuning the bending-responsive behaviors with a gauge factor range from 12.5 to 56.3 and the corresponding linear respond region from ∼15 to ∼1%. Such a superior performance of conductive LDPE/CF tube confirms that the design of multiaxial orientation paves a novel way to facile fabrication of advanced cost-effective CF-based smart materials, shedding light on promising applications such as smart materials and intelligent engineering monitoring.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b17131

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b17131

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