Non-Isothermal Crystallisation Kinetics of Carbon Black- Graphene-Based Multimodal-Polyethylene Nanocomposites.
The effect of carbon black (CB) and microwave-induced plasma graphene (g) on the crystallisation kinetics of the multimodal high-density polyethylene was studied under non-isothermal conditions. The non-isothermal crystallisation behaviour of the multimodal-high-density polyethylene (HDPE), containing up to 5 wt.% graphene, was compared with that of neat multimodal-HDPE and its carbon black based nanocomposites. The results suggested that the non-isothermal crystallisation behaviour of polyethylene (PE)-g nanocomposites relied significantly on both the graphene content and the cooling rate. The addition of graphene caused a change in the mechanism of the nucleation and the crystal growth of the multimodal-HDPE, while carbon black was shown to have little effect. Combined Avrami and Ozawa equations were shown to be effective in describing the non-isothermal crystallisation behaviour of the neat multimodal-HDPE and its nanocomposites. The mean activation energy barrier (ΔE), required for the transportation of the molecular chains from the melt state to the growing crystal surface, gradually diminished as the graphene content increased, which is attributable to the nucleating agent effect of graphene platelets. On the contrary, the synergistic effect resulting from the PE-CB nanocomposite decreased the ΔE of the neat multimodal-HDPE significantly at the lowest carbon black content.