Fracture toughness and electrical conductivity of epoxy composites filled with carbon nanotubes and spherical particles

Long Cheng Tang, Yan Jun Wan, Ke Peng, Yong Bing Pei, Lian Bin Wu, Li Min Chen, Li Jin Shu, Jian Xiong Jiang, Guo Qiao Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Scopus citations


The attainment of both high toughness and superior electrical conductivity of epoxy composites is a crucial requirement in some engineering applications. Herein, we developed a strategy to improve these performances of epoxy by combining the multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and spherical particles. Two different types of spherical particles i.e. soft submicron-rubber and rigid nano-silica particles were chosen to modify the epoxy/MWCNT composites. Compared with the binary composites with single-phase particles, the ternary composites with MWCNTs and spherical particles offer a good balance in glass transition temperature, electrical conductivity, stiffness and strength, as well as fracture toughness, exhibiting capacities in tailoring the electrical and mechanical properties of epoxy composites. Based on the fracture surface analysis, the complicated interactions between multiscale particles and the relative toughening mechanisms were evaluated to explain the enhancement in fracture toughness of the ternary composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013



  • A. Nano-structures
  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Electrical properties
  • B. Fracture toughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials

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