Effect of acid treated carbon nanotubes on mechanical, rheological and thermal properties of polystyrene nanocomposites

Issam Thaher Amr, Adnan Al-Amer, Thomas P. Selvin, Mamdouh Al-Harthi, Salihu Adamu Girei, Rachid Sougrat, Muataz Atieh

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In this work, multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNT) were functionalized by acid treatment and characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Polystyrene/CNT composites of both the untreated and acid treated carbon nanotubes were prepared by thermal bulk polymerization without any initiator at different loadings of CNT. The tensile tests showed that the addition of 0.5 wt.% of acid treated CNT results in 22% increase in Young's modulus. The DSC measurements showed a decrease in glass transition temperature (Tg) of PS in the composites. The rheological studies at 190 °C showed that the addition of untreated CNT increases the viscoelastic behavior of the PS matrix, while the acid treated CNT acts as plasticizer. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated that the incorporation of CNT into PS enhanced the thermal properties of the matrix polymer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1554-1561
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • A. Carbon nanotube
  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Mechanical properties
  • B. Rheological properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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