Hybrid poly(ether ether ketone) composites reinforced with a combination of carbon fibres and graphene nanoplatelets

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Abstract

Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK), with its superb mechanical properties, excellent chemical resistance and high thermo-oxidative stability is one of the most important engineering thermoplastics for high-end applications. In this work, we investigate the elastic and viscoelastic properties along with the creep mitigation of two sets of samples: PEEK reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) and PEEK reinforced with a hybrid graphene/short carbon fibre (CF) filler. The melt viscosity of the PEEK nanocomposites was found to increase with increasing GNPs content; however, the viscosity of the hybrid CF-GNP samples with the highest filler content was equal to the one of the samples filled only with GNPs at low shear rates. This processability shows the advantage of GNPs over other nano and conventional fillers in the ability to use meaningful loadings. The introduction of GNPs improved significantly the stiffness and the storage modulus of the materials in both PEEK-GNP and PEEK-CF-GNP composites. Moreover, the presence of GNPs within the composites led to a restriction of the mobility of the macromolecular chains of PEEK, which resulted in enhanced creep properties at both room temperature and elevated temperatures. Overall, the nanocomposites produced displayed properties that make them attractive in applications where high stiffness and structural integrity at elevated temperatures are required.

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Papageorgiou, D. G., Liu, M., Li, Z., Vallés, C., Young, R. J., & Kinloch, I. A. (2019). Hybrid poly(ether ether ketone) composites reinforced with a combination of carbon fibres and graphene nanoplatelets. Composites Science and Technology, 175, 60–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2019.03.006

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