conductive polymer composites

The electrical conductivity of polymers can be significantly improved by the incorporation of conductive fillers. Such conductive polymer composites come i.a. for antistatic packaging materials and for the electromagnetic shielding of electronic components. In addition, there is a great scientific and economic interest in the development of innovative sensors, for example for the use of intelligent textiles. Decisive for the electrical properties of these materials is the formation of conductive filler structures in the polymer matrix. In addition to the filler concentration and the type of filler, these conductive “paths” are significantly influenced by the manufacturing process, which in most cases takes place via the melt.

The challenge of this research project lies in the fundamental understanding of the physical relationships of the structural development of conductive fillers in polymer melts under the influence of shear and expansion flows. Coupled electrical and rheological measurements provide a very sensitive tool for investigating changes in the conductive structures under applied deformation. In addition to the different types of experimental stress and experimental modes, the focus is also on the targeted variation of polymer and filler properties. In addition, the rheological experiments give us information about the flow and thus the processing behavior of filled polymer melts.