Preparation of Carbon Nanotube-Composite
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A composite is made up of two distinct materials and the resulted properties are different from the individual precursors. Composite combines a huge or bulkier element called matrix and reinforcement called filler or fiber. Fiber is added in the matrix to increase the stiffness of the matrix and enhance or alter its physical properties. Since silk has high levels of toughness, strength and multifunctional nature, we decided to use bombyx mori as a matrix. Because of the superior mechanical properties, i.e., high tensile moduli, and strength of carbon nanotube, we chose carbon nanotube as a reinforcement fiber to enhance the mechanical properties of resulting composite. The main issue encountered while preparing composite was to fully disperse individual nanotubes in the matrices, because nanotubes tend to form clusters and bundles. Hence, we used ionic liquids to dissolve the cocoon, and processed homogenization of FCNT with silk by sonication, stirring. For testing, different weight percentages of functionalized carbon nanotube were used as a filler to make the silk composite, and nanoindentation and tensile tester tested the samples. The composite of various concentrations did not show the expected result of increasing mechanical properties with decreased carbon nanotube concentration. Hence, it was concluded that a different method to functionalize carbon nanotube should be implemented.
Sharma, Sundeep (2011). Preparation of Carbon Nanotube-Composite. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from