Technical Brief

Microwave Properties of Nanocomposites: Effect of Manufacturing Methods and Nanofiller Structure

[+] Author and Article Information
A. A. Khurram

Experimental Physics Labs,
National Centre for Physics,
Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
e-mail: khuram_qau@yahoo.com

Sobia A. Rakha, Naveed Ali

Experimental Physics Labs,
National Centre for Physics,
Islamabad 45320, Pakistan

I. H. Gul

School of Chemical and Materials Engineering,
NUST H-12,
Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

Arshad Munir

Centre of Excellence in Science and Advance Technologies,
Islamabad 45320, Pakistan

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 16, 2014; final manuscript received February 16, 2015; published online March 12, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Debjyoti Banerjee.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 6(1), 014501 (Feb 01, 2015) (5 pages) Paper No: NANO-14-1061; doi: 10.1115/1.4029916 History: Received September 16, 2014; Revised February 16, 2015; Online March 12, 2015

Nanocomposite materials filled with multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) having three types of structures, i.e., longer (200 μm), shorter (20–50 μm), and aminated (20–50 μm), are manufactured for microwave absorption (MA) in 11–17 GHz frequency range. Microstructure, dielectric permittivity, direct current (DC) electrical conductivity, and MA properties of the MWCNTs–epoxy nanocomposite were investigated. A correlation has been developed between the structure (aspect ratio and surface functionality) of MWCNTs, electrical conductivity of the composite, and MA (return loss (RL)). E-glass/epoxy composite filled with longer carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has shown higher RL as compared to that of other two nanocomposites. The measurements have shown that the magnitude of RL of microwaves depends strongly on the structure of MWCNTs used in the composite. Furthermore, the effect of synthesis route followed for the manufacturing of nanocomposite on its electrical conductivity and microwave absorbing properties is also investigated; three different approaches were followed to manufacture CNT/epoxy nanocomposites from longer CNTs (200 μm).

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Fig. 1

(a) DC electrical conductivity and (b) imaginary part (ε) of complex permittivity measurements of nanocomposites prepared from shorter, longer, and NH2 functionalized MWCNTs

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Fig. 2

The RL measurements for the three sets of nanocomposites prepared with long, short, and functionalized MWCNTs with 1.0 wt.% loadings in the matrix

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Fig. 3

DC electrical conductivity measurements of the nanocomposites prepared by using the three different processing methods

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Fig. 4

(a)–(c) The RL measurements for the 1.0 wt.% loadings of long MWCNT nanocomposites prepared with three different processing methods and (d) schematic showing the possibility of glass fiber cloth wetting using method B (above) and M (below)

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Fig. 5

(a)–(c) Scanning electron micrographs of nanocomposites fracture surface prepared with method: (a) M, (b) H, (c) B revealing the state of aggregation and dispersion, and (d) SEM image of as-received long MWCNTs




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