Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Original Article

Development of electrically conductive polymer nanocomposites for the automotive cable industry

Miguel Guerreiro; Joana Rompante; André Costa Leite; Luís Paulo Fernandes; Rosa Maria Santos; Maria Conceição Paiva; José António Covas

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Environmental concerns and the urgent need for reduction of fossil fuel consumption motivate materials research towards increased transportation efficiency. This work investigates the possibility of reducing the weight of electrical cables in automotive applications by replacing part of the metallic screen with electrically conductive polymer/carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposites. PP and PA12 were tested as possible matrices and the melt processability of the composites prepared by melt mixing was assessed for compositions up to 4 CNT wt. %. The tensile and flexural mechanical properties, the electrical conductivity, as well as the electromagnetic shielding effectiveness were evaluated. The performance of PA12/CNT composites was much higher than that of PP/CNT equivalents, due to better dispersion. It was demonstrated that, at industrial production scale, these materials could achieve a reduction of 4-20 weigth % relative to a standard automotive cable.


high voltage cables, carbon nanotubes, nanocomposites, electrical conductivity, wire insulation


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