Application of graphene in the field of plastic modification

Application of graphene in the field of plastic modification


Since its discovery, graphene can be used in electronic devices, flexible materials, power generation, biomedicine, composite materials and other fields due to its excellent performance. This is no exception in field of plastics modification. Graphene can improve electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, mechanical properties and barrier properties of plastics, etc., and can also make properties of modified plastics more excellent. Today we will talk about graphene in modification Application and perspective of permanent plastics.

Application of graphene in the field of plastic modification

1. What is graphene?

The graphite materials found include graphite, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes. Graphene is main building block of another graphite material. Graphene is formed by sp2-hybridized carbon atoms in form of hexagonal honeycombs. It is a two-dimensional flat nanomaterial consisting of a layer of carbon atoms. The graphene sheet is not a full plane, but folds along edge. This wrinkled structure makes graphene stable. Graphene has extremely high carrier mobility, large theoretical specific surface area, excellent light transmission, high tensile modulus, high strength, and high thermal conductivity.

Application of graphene in the field of plastic modification

Fig. 1. Graphene and its microstructure

2. Graphene production method

Currently, widely used graphene production methods mainly include chemical vapor deposition, epitaxial growth, and redox process.

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD): Chemical Vapor Deposition refers to cracking of hydrocarbons at high temperature and their deposition on surface of solid substrates. This method makes it possible to obtain higher quality graphene, and prepared graphene sheets are relatively large.

Epitaxial growth method: refers to sublimation of surface of a single crystal silicon carbide wafer at a higher temperature (1200-1500 °C) to remove silicon atoms and remaining carbon atoms on surface can begin to regenerate, gradually forming a structure graphene sheet.

Oxidation-reduction method. At present, most widely used method for obtaining graphene is to obtain graphene oxide with a strong oxidizing agent, and then reduce graphene oxide to obtain graphene.

3. The use of graphene-modified plastics

3.1 Anti-static plastic

Plastic itself is an insulating material, which limits its widespread use in antistatic, conductive, and other applications. The most commonly used method for producing antistatic plastics in plastics industry is to add low molecular weight antistatic agents to resin matrix, so that antistatic agents gradually migrate from product to surface, forming a conductive transition layer on surface.

As a new conductive filler, graphene has a very high electron mobility and a high compression ratio. Filling a plastic matrix with it makes it possible to obtain plastics with high conductivity and low percolation concentration, which has good application prospects.

3.2 Thermally conductive functional plastics

Because graphene is transported by phonons, it is an ideal thermal/conductive filler that outperforms commonly used conductive and thermally conductive fillers. Adding it to plastics can increase thermal conductivity of plastics by more than 10 times, so that plastics can be used in automotive radiators, LED lamp radiators, electronic and electric radiators, and other fields.

Application of graphene in the field of plastic modification

Fig. 2. Graphene thermally conductive plastic

3.3 Reinforced plastics

Graphene has excellent mechanical properties and is of potential value in foam, packaging, military and other applications; Scientists at University of Sunderland have added graphene to carbon plastics, and insurance from this material. The rods absorb 40% more energy than standard materials.

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