Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA
Effects of vapor grown carbon nanofibers on electrical and mechanical properties of a thermoplastic elastomer
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Robert Jones
Dr. Constantine Tarawneh
Dr. Karen Lozano
Carbon nanofiber (CNF) reinforced composites are exceptional materials that exhibit superior properties compared to conventional composites. This paper presents the development of a vapor grown carbon nanofiber (VGCNF) thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) composite by a melt mixing process. Dispersion and distribution of CNFs inside the TPU matrix were examined through scanning electron microscopy to determine homogeneity. The composite material underwent durometer, thermal gravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, heat transfer, hysteresis, dynamic modulus, creep, tensile, abrasion, and electrical conductivity testing to characterize its properties and predict behavior. The motivation for this research is to develop an elastomer pad that is an electrically conductive alternative to the elastomer pads currently used in railroad service. The material had to be a completely homogenous electrically conductive CNF composite that could withstand a harsh dynamically loaded environment. The current prototype material meets the mechanical and conductive requirements and is currently undergoing field-testing.
University of Texas-Pan American
Copyright 2014 Daniel Thomas Basaldua. All Rights Reserved.