Investigation on Polymeric Conductive Composites for Satellite Technology: A Futuristic Approach

In this investigation an attempt has been made to develop high performance polymeric conductive composites for its essential application to space; in particular to protect Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Shielding in satellites. It has been established that to protect satellites and space equipment from EMI, there is an essential requirements of high temperature resistant polymeric composite which are electrically conductive. The basic space durable polymers may not function successfully under space environments when subjected to space radiation, and also shows serious limitations for satellites and space equipment because of their non-electrical conductivity. Therefore, electrically conductive functionalized Carbon Nano Tubes (CNT) and Carbon Nano Fibres (CNF) are highly desirable to impart electrical conductivity in to high performance polymers as well as these nano fillers can withstand intensity of high energy radiation. Therefore, CNF were functionalized by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PECVD) process by depositing silver on CNF with dispersion of 1%, 3% and 5% weight ratios in to the basic high performance polymer. The basic high performance polymer and electrically conductive functionalized CNF dispersed high performance polymer were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Electrical conductivity under Four-Probe Conductivity Meter and by Tensile tests.  There is a considerable increase in thermal stability of the conductive polymeric composite demonstrated by DSC and TGA. The most significant achievement for this investigation is not only significant increase in electrical conductivity of the high performance polymer but also stability under high energy radiation increases considerably. Therefore, this can be concluded that this technology could be highly useful for satellites and EMI Shielding and may open new dimensions in space technology.