Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Orientation of Carbon Nanotubes in a Sheared Polymer Melt



Erik K. Hobbie, Haonan Wang, H W. Kim, Sheng Lin-Gibson, E A. Grulke


Optical measurements of the shear response of dilute ensembles of multi-walled carbon nanotubes dispersed in a polybutadiene melt are presented. At low shear stress, the measurements suggest that the tubes are broadly oriented along the direction of flow. Above a critical shear stress (sc 12 kPa), the data suggest a transition in which the tubes become broadly oriented along the vorticity direction. The elastic stress present in the melt at sc (as measured by the first normal stress difference) is roughly a factor of five smaller than the shear stress, suggesting that the melt is weakly elastic. The observed vorticity alignment is in qualitative agreement with previous studies of fiber orientation in weakly elastic fluids under shear.
Physics of Fluids
No. 5


multi-walled carbon nanotubes, polarized light scattering, polymer melt, shear flow


Hobbie, E. , Wang, H. , Kim, H. , Lin-Gibson, S. and Grulke, E. (2003), Orientation of Carbon Nanotubes in a Sheared Polymer Melt, Physics of Fluids, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created April 30, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021