Conductivity Behaviour under Pressure of Copper Micro-Additive/Polyurethane Composites (Experimental and Modelling)

Mehvari, Saeid, Sanchez Vicente, Yolanda, Gonzalez Sanchez, Sergio and Lafdi, Khalid (2022) Conductivity Behaviour under Pressure of Copper Micro-Additive/Polyurethane Composites (Experimental and Modelling). Polymers, 14 (7). p. 1287. ISSN 2073-4360

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In this study, micro-size copper particles (less than 25 μm) were incorporated into polyurethane (PU) using a solution mixing method and spin-coating technique to fabricate composite films in concentrations from 0.5 to 20 vol.. The conductivity behaviour of these composites under pressure was studied experimentally and numerically. The conductivity measurements were performed in-plane and through-thickness under pressure. It was found that changes in conductivity only occurred in the z-direction under an applied pressure from 1 to 20 kPa. The results showed that pressure could induce conductivity up to about 7.2 × 10−1 S∙m−1 for composites with a Cu concentration higher than 2.6 vol.. It seems that applied pressure reduced the thickness of the polymer film, decreasing the distance between copper particles and promoting the formation of a conductive network, thus making the material conductive. A semi-analytical model that can accurately provide the percolation threshold (PT) concentration was used to fit the experimental conductivity. The PT concentrations for PU-Cu composite ranged from 7.1 vol. to 1.4 vol. and decreased with the rise in pressure. This is known as a pressure-induced percolation transition phenomenon (PIPT). Finally, the finite element method based on the representative volume element model (FE-RVE) simulation technique was used to predict the conductivity behaviour. This numerical simulation provided a good description of the experimental conductivity after the PT and correctly predicted the PT concentration. This study shows that FE-RVE could be used to effectively simulate the influence of pressure on the electrical properties of a polymer–metal composite, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming experiments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: electrical conductive composite, micro-copper, polyurethane, percolation threshold, RVE model, metal filler, numerical simulation
Subjects: H300 Mechanical Engineering
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
H900 Others in Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 09:12
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 11:34

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