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Release characteristics of selected carbon nanotube polymer composites
Kingston, C., R. Zepp, A. Andrady, D. Boverhof, R. Fehir, D. Hawkins, J. Roberts, P. Sayre, B. Shelton, Y. Sultan, V. Vejins, AND W. Wohlleben. Release characteristics of selected carbon nanotube polymer composites. CARBON. Pergamon Press Ltd., New York, NY, 68:33-57, (2014).
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are commonly used in polymer formulations to improve strength, conductivity, and other attributes. A developing concern is the potential for carbon nanotube polymer nanocomposites to release nanoparticles into the environment as the polymer matrix degrades or is mechanically stressed. Here, we review characteristics related to release potential of five sets of polymer systems: epoxy, polyamide, polyurethane, polyethylene, and polycarbonate. Our review includes consideration of general characteristics and use of the polymer (as related to potential MWCNT release) and its MWCNT composites; general potential for nanomaterial release (particularly MWCNTs) due to degradation and mechanical stresses during use; and potential effects of stabilizers and plasticizers on polymer degradation. We examine UV degradation, temperature extremes, acid–base catalysis, and stresses such as sanding. Based on a high-level summary of the characteristics considered, the potential for release of MWCNT with typical, intended consumer use is expected to be low.