The surface modifications of multi-walled carbon nanotubes for multi-walled carbon nanotube/poly (ether ether ketone) composites
The effects of surface modifications of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the morphology, dynamic mechanical and tribological properties of multi-walled carbon nanotube/poly(ether ether ketone) (MWCNT/PEEK) composites have been investigated. MWCNTs were treated with mixed acids to obtain acid-functionalized MWCNTs. Then the acid-functionalized MWCNTs were modified with ethanolamine (named e-MWCNTs). The MWCNT/PEEK composites were prepared by a solution-blending method. A more homogeneous distribution of e-MWCNTs within the composites was found with scanning electron microscopy. Dynamic mechanical analysis demonstrated a clear increase in the storage modulus of e-MWCNT/PEEK composites because of the improved interfacial adhesion strength between e-MWCNTs and PEEK. Furthermore, the presence of e-MWCNTs caused an enhancement in the glass transition temperature of the composites. Wear tests have shown that the friction coefficient of e-MWCNT/PEEK composites decreased significantly during the test after the running-in period. This suggests that there is an obvious improvement in tribological properties of e-MWCNT/PEEK composites. Overall, the e-MWCNT/PEEK composites have exhibited improved properties and are promising for their applications in industry.