Elastic percolation of swollen polyacrylamide (PAAm)-multiwall carbon nanotubes composite
Polyacrylamide (PAAm)-multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) composites were prepared via free radical cross-linking copolymerization with different amounts of MWNTs varying in the range between 0.1 and 50 wt%. The mechanical properties of swollen PAAm-MWNT composites were characterized by the tensile testing technique. A small content of embedded nanotubes dramatically changes the compressive elastic modulus of the composites. Compressive elastic modulus dramatically increases up to 1wt% MWNT on increasing nanotube content and then decreases presenting a critical MWNT value indicating that there is a sudden change in the material elasticity. The critical exponent y of elasticity below the critical MWNT content 1 wt% is found to be 0.58 which is consistent with the suggestions of percolation in the superelastic percolation network for PAAm-MWNT composite.