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Mechanical and thermal properties of 1-2 layered graphene/UHMWPE composites

AutorPascual, F. J.; Esteban, M.; Crespo, L.; Castell, Pere; Castro, Miguel; Puértolas, J. A.
Fecha de publicación2014
CitaciónInternational Conference on Diamond and Carbon Materials (2014)
ResumenThe ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is the flagship of the bearing materials used in contemporary total knee and hip total replacements. Aiming to extend its use to specific applications in orthopedics and to general industry, an attempt to improve mechanical and thermal properties via blending with 1-2 layered graphene has been made in this work. We selected a mechanical mixing route (ball milling, 8h, 400 rpm), followed by a consolidation process to obtain the graphene/UHMWPE composites. The 1-2 layered graphene was provided by Avanzare (Spain) and the composite concentrations ranged from 0 %wt to 0.5 %wt. Some samples underwent a thermal treatment to improve the toughness. Microstructural information was performed by DSC. Thermal conductivity measurements (k) at room temperature were conducted using the TCi Thermal conductivity analyser from C-Therm. Tests were performed on bare UHMWPE and on graphene/UHMWPE composites. No significant difference has been detected between both samples and a value of k =0.470±0.015 W/mK has been obtained. The uniaxial tensile tests resulted in a nearly negligible effect of the graphene content with respect to the secant modulus and the yield stress. It was correlated to the small changes in the degree of crystallinity by DSC. On the other hand, the material showed a reduction of about 30% in the elongation at fracture and ultimate tensile stress at the highest concentration. As a fact, both metrics diminished as the filler content increased. DMTA analysis was performed to reflect the influence of the filler content in the dynamical properties of the composites, with no significant difference recorded. In addition, the materials that underwent the thermal treatment increased about 10% both the secant modulus and yield stress respect to the non-treated composites and to the pristine resin. The elongation at fracture and the ultimate tensile stress remained unchanged with respect to the non-treated composites. Being a purely mechanical mixing route, the improvement in the mechanical properties for the thermal treated samples is considered relevant and promising.
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