Effects of copper filler sizes on the dielectric properties and the energy harvesting capability of nonpercolated polyurethane composites

Abstract : Nonpercolated composites based on polyurethane (PU) filled with low concentrations copper (Cu) powders of varying sizes were studied as electrostrictive materials for mechanical energy harvesting. The dispersion of the fillers within the polymeric matrix was investigated by scanning electron microscopy, and results showed a relatively homogeneous dispersion for the microsized fillers and the existence of agglomerates for their nanosized counterparts. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements displayed that there occurred no interaction between the polymeric matrix and the microsized fillers whereas the nanosized fillers slightly enhanced the glass transition of the soft segments of PU and significantly affected the recrystallization temperature. The dependence of the dielectric properties of the composites as a function of the filler volume fraction and filler size was investigated over a broad range of frequencies, showing an increase in the permittivity when fillers were used. This increase was more pronounced for the composites containing nanosized fillers. The measurement of the harvested current and of the harvested power also demonstrated an enhancement of the energy harvesting capability when nanofillers were employed. From the experimental data, it appeared that the electrostrictive coefficient Q was not proportional to the inverse ratio of the permittivity and the Young modulus for the studied composites. Finally, analytical modeling of the harvested current and of the harvested energy offered an accurate description of the experimental data.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 25, 2013 - 9:32:25 AM
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Chatchai Putson, Laurent Lebrun, Daniel Guyomar, Nantakan Muensit, Pierre-Jean Cottinet, et al.. Effects of copper filler sizes on the dielectric properties and the energy harvesting capability of nonpercolated polyurethane composites. Journal of Applied Physics, American Institute of Physics, 2011, 109 (2), pp.Article Number: 024104. 〈10.1063/1.3534000〉. 〈hal-00804148〉

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