The paper addresses the influence of carbon nanotubes (CNT) on the structure and mechanical properties of high tensile strength thermoplasticpolymer fibers. Polyamide (PA) fibers with different draw ratios, with and without CNTs as fillers, and having mechanical properties close to industrial standards were spun in a pilot melt spinning plant. The morphology of the fibers was investigated using optical microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and 2-D wide angle x-ray diffraction (WAXD). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was carried out to get an estimation of the crystallinity. For a concise interpretation of the results of tensile measurements performed on the fibers, a parameter was developed to account for the detrimental influence of polymer extrusion on their mechanical properties. CNTs seem to act as sites for the growth of un-oriented crystalline domains converted from oriented regions, without yielding a mechanical reinforcing effect.
2012. Vol. 7, no 3