Polyethylene/Clay/Graphite Nanocomposites as Potential Materials for Preparation of Reinforced Conductive Natural Gas Transfer Pipes

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

1 Urmia University of Technology

2 Tarbiat Modares University

Abstract

A series of high density polyethylene/Cloisite 20A/graphite nanocomposites were prepared via melt blending for production of polymeric pipes for natural gas transfer. The microstructural, mechanical, thermal, electrical and barrier properties of prepared nanocomposites were investigated. An intercalated morphology was observed for prepared nanocomposites. Improved mechanical properties e.g. over 148 % increase in the Young’s modulus were observed by incorporating the nanoparticles to the polyethylene matrix. The thermal analysis showed that the melting point of polyethylene was slightly increased by incorporating both fillers, i.e. Cloisite 20A and graphite in it and the crystallinity was depended on the type of filler. The results showed that the MFI values decreased by incorporating the fillers into the polyethylene matrix and further decreases were observed by increasing the fillers contents. It was also found that a considerable amount of electrical conductivity is created in graphite loaded nanocomposites. The natural gas permeability investigations revealed of more than 51 % decrease in the permeability by incorporating 5 wt.% of Cloisite 20A to the polyethylene. It was concluded that the prepared nanocomposites due to their enhanced mechanical, thermal and barrier properties along with the conductive nature are excellent materials to be used in production of polymeric pipes in natural gas distribution and transportation networks.

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