Frequency or amplitude? : Rheo-electrical characterization of carbon nanoparticle filled epoxy systems
Dispersion of carbon nanoparticles in epoxy resin is the key factor to adjust the resulting electrical and mechanical properties of the nanocomposite. A profound understanding of the driving forces of standard methods like ultrasonic and mechanical dispersion is necessary. To derive the impact of applied frequency and strain on the resulting dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-filled epoxy resin, this work addresses the strain and frequency dependency of oscillatory shear flow-induced network changes. Strain- and frequency-sweeps were performed for a wide parameter set with in-line measurement of electrical DC resistance to monitor changes in the MWCNT network. Changes in electrical resistance reveal destruction and formation of the MWCNT network. A fundamental novel finding is the governing dependency of changes in the electrical network on applied shear amplitude. The applied frequency barely induces network changes. Applied shear rates do not correlate with particular network states.