Electrically conductive polymeric bi-component fibers containing a high load of low-structured carbon black
Journal article, 2015
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2015, 132, 42255. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Melt spinning at semi-industrial conditions of carbon black (CB) containing textiles fibers with enhanced electrical conductivity suitable for heating applications is described. A conductive compound of CB and high density polyethylene (HDPE) was incorporated into the core of bi-component fibers which had a sheath of polyamide 6 (PA6). The rheological and fiber-forming properties of a low-structured and a high-structured CB/HDPE composite were compared in terms of their conductivity. The low-structured CB gave the best trade-off between processability and final conductivity. This was discussed in terms of the strength of the resulting percolated network of carbon particles and its effect on the spin line stability during melt spinning. The conductivity was found to be further enhanced with maintained mechanical properties by an in line thermal annealing of the fibers at temperatures in the vicinity of the melting point of HDPE. By an adequate choice of CB and annealing conditions a conductivity of 1.5 S/cm of the core material was obtained. The usefulness of the fibers for heating applications was demonstrated by means of a woven fabric containing the conductive fibers in the warp direction. By applying a voltage of 48 V the surface temperature of the fabric rose from 20 to 30°C.