General issues in carbon nanocomposites technology pp.389-416
Authors: (Luiz A. F. Coelho; Sérgio H. Pezzin, Márcio R. Loos, Sandro C. Amico, Centro de Ciências Tecnológicas – UDESC, Campus Universitário Prof. Avelino Marcante, Joinville/SC)
Abstract: In view of their fascinating characteristics, much attention has been currently drawn to carbon nanotubes and their use in a variety of applications. In this chapter, it is first presented the basic concepts, the structure, some of the history and properties of carbon nanotubes, along with an overview of experimental methods to produce them. Cost, production capacity and health aspects are also tackled. This is followed by a discussion on the various aspects regarding debundling and dispersion of carbon nanotubes, along with the most common methods to accomplish that, including sonication, the use of solvents and calandering. The final section of the chapter is devoted to the study of the interfacial adhesion between nanotubes and polymers and the different strategies to promote adhesion, especially functionalization via covalent, non-covalent and nanotube grafting with polymers. Hopefully this material will be another tool to help interested readers to understand the potential and challenges faced by scientists and engineers regarding the use of carbon nanotubes as a reinforcement phase in nanocomposites.