Several advanced methods have been introduced to disperse CNTs in the NR matrix. Various aspects highlighted in this chapter include the mixing processes such as melt mixing and latex mixing methods. As well as, formations of functional groups on the surfaces of CNT using silane coupling agents (i.e., ex-situ and in-situ functionalization). Moreover, hybrid CNT are beneficial to achieve better electrical conductivity of NR/CNT composites. These efforts are aimed to reduce the percolation threshold concentration in the NR composites for application as conducting composites based on electrically insulating rubber matrix. Sensor application is developed based on conducting NR composites. NR composites showed changing of resistivity during elongation termed as piezoresistivity. The most commonly used rubber matrices such as NR, ENR and IR are mixed with a combination of CNT and CB fillers as hybrid filler. The presence of linkages in the ENR composites results in the least loss of conductivity during external strain. It is found that the conductivity becomes stable after 3000 cycles. This is found to be similar to the NR-CNT/CB composite, while a few cycles are needed for IR-CNT/CB owing to the higher filler agglomeration and poor filler-rubber interactions. This is attributed to the polar chemical interactions between ENR and the functional groups on the surfaces of CNT/CB.
Part of the book: Carbon Nanotubes