Novel microwave processing of carbon nanotube/thermoplastic composites (2017–2020)
This project aims to develop a novel fabrication processes for carbon nano-tube (CNT) / thermoplastic
composites. The method, with lab based `proof of concept¿, uses microwaves and overcomes problems of
dispersion and aggregation of CNTs, which limit properties of the nano-composites. At lab scale, a 50% increase
in stiffness of polypropylene and an increase in electrical conductivity with the addition of 0.5 wt% CNT has been
demonstrated. This project will unravel mechanisms by which these outstanding property improvements are
achieved and will scale up the process to industrial level. Outcomes will be economical lighter and stronger
plastics for manufacturing applications such as rotational molding, transport and electronic packaging.