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The effect of conductive network on positive temperature coefficient behaviour in conductive polymer composites

journal contribution
posted on 18.02.2021, 09:42 by Yi Liu, Eric Asare, Harshit Porwal, Ettore Barbieri, Stergios Goutianos, Jamie Evans, Mark Newton, James J.C. Busfield, Ton Peijs, Han Zhang, Emiliano Bilotti
Flexible and controllable self-regulating heating devices with positive temperature coefficient (PTC) behaviour are potentially excellent candidates in applications like healthcare, soft robotics, artificial skin and wearable electronics. Although extensive studies have been carried out in this field to understand the mechanism of PTC effect, rather limited conclusions have been reached. Many controversies remain on the dominating factors that influence the PTC performance of composites, hence limiting their design and broader applications. Herein, we propose a systematic study to explore the PTC phenomenon and the underlying mechanism, from a conductive network viewpoint, taking account of both conductive fillers and polymer matrices. Three representative conductive fillers with distinct dimensions and shapes (0D silver coated glass spheres, 1D carbon nanotubes and 2D graphene nanoplatelets), in combination with three different polymer matrices (high density polyethylene, thermoplastic polyurethane and polycarbonate) were selected to elucidate the effect of the “robustness” of different conductive networks on PTC behaviour in conductive polymer composites (CPCs). The desired conductive network can be obtained by selecting preferentially larger filler size, lower filler aspect ratio and/or selective distribution of filler (e.g. in the amorphous region of semi-crystalline polymers). The highest PTC intensity was observed around the “critical” percolation threshold, in correspondence of networks with the lowest number of inter-particle contacts. This study can serve as a guideline in the selection of the most appropriate conductive filler and polymer matrix for various self-regulating heating requirements and final applications.

Funding

LMK Thermosafe Ltd

Innovate UK (KTP number: KTP009619)

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Materials

Published in

Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing

Volume

139

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2020.106074.

Acceptance date

13/08/2020

Publication date

2020-09-02

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

1359-835X

eISSN

1878-5840

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Yi Liu. Deposit date: 17 February 2021

Article number

106074

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