Hotmelts with improved properties by integration of carbon nanotubes
With the aim of the development of conductive and mechanically improved adhesives, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were dispersed by melt mixing into a non-reactive polyolefine based hotmelt adhesive. The composite materials, containing 0.5 to 5.0 wt% multi-walled CNTs (MWNTs), showed electrical percolation at about 0.75 wt%. Investigations of the mechanical properties using tensile tests resulted in a significant enhancement of Young's modulus up to 372% and nearly doubling of tensile strength at 5.0 wt%. Even if the hotmelt material is highly elastic compared to typical thermoplastic matrices, the melt mixing resulted in suitable CNT dispersion. The melt viscosity increased with CNT loading, however near the observed electrical percolation threshold the processability was not notably reduced. Most important, next to conductivity at low CNT loadings, also a significant enhancement in the shear strength of bonded joints of AlMg3 up to values of 250% of the pure hotmelt could be obtained. The property profile can be tailored with CNT concentration, indicating the suitability of CNT addition into these hotmelt adhesives.