Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education and Key Laboratory of High Performance Polymer⁻based Composites of Guangdong Province, School of Chemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China. [Email]
The property of carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-based composites are significantly dependent on the orientation and dispersion evolution of CNTs in the polymer matrix. In this work, the dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations are employed to discover the orientation and dispersion evolution of CNTs in ultra⁻high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) under extensional⁻shear coupled flow conditions for the first time. In this paper, we investigate the roles of the increasing extensional-shear coupled rate in morphology of CNTs/UHMWPE composites by varying CNTs concentration and observe that the system under consideration lies in the same evolution morphologies. When comparing our results for various morphologies, we notice that the orientation is affected more significantly by changing the extensional-shear coupled rates. A good alignment appears with an increase of extensional-shear coupled rates, which transform it into ordered morphology. In addition, a higher extensional-shear coupled rate does not necessarily contribute to better dispersion even though CNTs concentration varies, as shown by the mean square displacement (MSD) and the relative concentration distribution functions of CNTs in CNTs/UHMWPE composites.