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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mater. | doi: 10.3389/fmats.2019.00234

Influence of protonic ionic liquid on the dispersion of carbon nanotube in PLA/EVA blends and blend compatibilization

 ELAINE C. LOPES PEREIRA1, 2*, MARIA EDUARDA C. FERNANDES1,  KETLY PONTES1, 3 and BLUMA G. SOARES4, 5
  • 1Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2Institute of Macromolecules Professor Eloisa Mano, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 3Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 4Institute of Macromolecules Professor Eloisa Mano, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 5Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In this work, immiscible poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/poly(ethylene vinyl acetate) (EVA) composites with 1 phr of multi‐walled carbon nanotube (CNT) and different concentration of protonic – based imidazolium ionic liquid (mimbSO3H.Cl) were prepared. The protonic ionic liquid (IL) was able to act as dispersing agent for CNT and as compatibilizing agent for the PLA/EVA blend. The multicomponent nanocomposites from the mixture of PLA and EVA containing CNT functionalized with ionic liquid, IL (CNT/ILSO3H) were characterized by mechanical and dynamic - mechanical (DMA) tests, electrical conductivity analyses, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction analysis and rheological measurements, as well as chromatographic gel permeation (GPC), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The non covalent functionalization CNT resulted in composites with outstanding electrical and dielectric properties. The high dispersion of CNT promoted by the IL resulted in the formation of a physical networked structure, which was responsible for the higher electrical conductivity and higher melt viscosity. The crystallization process of PLA phase was improved with the presence of CNT/ILSO3H. The degradation process during the transesterification reaction did not significantly affect the mechanical properties. The present work highlights the dual role of the IL as compatibilizing and dispersing agent and opens new perspectives for developing new conducting systems with low percolation threshold based on the good dispersion of CNT and the confinement of the filler within a phase of a multiphasic polymeric system.

Keywords: Poly (lactic acid), , ethylene- vinyl acetate copolymer, Ionic Liquid, carbon nanotube, Electric Conductivity

Received: 16 Apr 2019; Accepted: 09 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 LOPES PEREIRA, FERNANDES, PONTES and SOARES. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. ELAINE C. LOPES PEREIRA, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, nanequimica@gmail.com